The following is a guest post from Andrew Ranallo, communications associate at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). (Side note: Andrew just bought a new, single-speed bike and plans to use it as much as possible before the weather turns icy)
On Saturday, Aug. 13, Minneapolis was the place to be—preferably on two wheels, rolling down a bike lane and savoring the flavor of some local nosh before heading to the next stop on Bike and Bite.
As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) brought 150 local bikers and local food enthusiasts together for a make-your-own-route bike ride that included some of Minneapolis’ best locally sourced restaurants and cafes, as well as farmers markets and community gardens.
The day began with sprinkling rain and some gray clouds, but every rider that rolled around the corner of IATP’s building seemed to bring a bit of sunshine—by the time registration had ended our lot was full of riders and warm August sun.
Riders of all ages pored over our stops map (created with help from Bike Walk Twin Cities), sipped some local Peace Coffee and discussed where they would go first and which route they’d take to get there.
With a ceremonial countdown, riders made their way from our lot out into First Avenue and they were off! Where would they head first? North, to the Redeemer Urban Garden with veggies supplied by the McKinley Community CSA? Or, Southwest to Lake Harriet’s Bread and Pickle? All of the stops were tantalizing to say the least.
Crema had full-sized scoops of Sonny’s Sweet Corn Ice Cream on offer. The Wedge gave riders fresh watermelon from local Gardens of Eagan. Common Roots offered homemade granola bars, and 10,000 Licks local gourmet ice pops were a hit at the Park Avenue Mini Farmers Market. The bruschetta at Midtown Farmers Market looked delicious, and last but not least some sweet treats—I know the words chocolate and cookies were involved—at Birchwood were among riders’ favorites.
As riders rolled back in to the IATP headquarters, the sweet sounds of local band Hummingbirds welcomed them (complemented by cheers of those who had finished and IATP staffers).
All in all, it was an amazing day, and a great way to celebrate IATP’s 25th anniversary. Follow IATP’s Bike and Bite on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed on plans for next year, and keep up to date on IATP’s latest work supporting sustainable agriculture and local foods at iatp.org. All of the photos from Bike and Bite are hosted on IATP’s Flickr, take a look!