Posts Tagged ‘Bike Walk Move’
Monday, October 15th, 2012
Good news for bicyclists in Edina and anyone who would like to see less traffic congestion in the area: The city is expanding its biking capacity with the addition of 48 bike racks and bike-friendly improvements to key roads. These improvement include the addition of a bicycle boulevard, advisory bicycle lanes, green lanes and bicycle detectors at traffic signals – all factors that help contribute to safe on-street biking.
Several of the changes will also make it easier for bicyclists to travel north-south within Edina and west-east between Edina and Minneapolis. These key roadways include 54th Street, Wooddale Avenue and Valley View Road and are already popular routes. The first advisory bicycle lanes in Edina will appear on Wooddale Avenue and on parts of 54th Street. Advisory bike lanes look like dedicated bike lanes, except a dashed line is used in place of a solid bike lane stripe. A dashed line signals to drivers that they may drive in the bike lane space when a bicyclist is not present:
Many of the new bike racks will be installed downtown Edina at 50th and France. Those twenty-nine racks will help ease traffic congestion and free up space in parking ramps. The racks will be on France outside Cocina del Barrio and Walgreens and on 50th outside College Nannies & Tutors, D’Amico & Sons, Edina Liquor, Lunds and Lush Cosmetics. They are three feet tall, match the décor of the area and standard U-style bike locks can be used on them.
The 14-member Bike Edina Task Force led the project, which is funded in part by Bike Walk Twin Cities, a program of Transit for Livable Communities. The improvements are considered the first phase in a larger bikeway system outlined in the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
Have you seen the new lanes and racks yet? Will you take advantage of these changes and consider biking next time you go shopping at 50th and France? Would you like to see more suburbs embrace bike-friendly infrastructure?
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Summer may be drawing to a close, but the Twin Cities biking community is still going strong! We have two fun group rides happening in September. Each one offers a great opportunity to learn routes in and around Northeast Minneapolis. (Did you know you can get pretty much anywhere in Northeast in 15 minutes or less by bike?) Join us for one – or both!
Northeast Family Ride
Date: Saturday, September 15
Times: 9-11:30 a.m.
Start: Audubon Park & Rec Center (1320 29th Avenue NE, Minneapolis)
End: Eastside Co-op (2551 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis)
This family-friendly ride, led by City of Minneapolis Bike Walk Ambassadors, will showcase good routes for shopping in Northeast Minneapolis. Stops include the Quarry, the Eastside Co-op and Recovery Bike Shop. The first 20 people to arrive will receive a free Bike Walk Move bag!
Pedal to the Pubs
Date: Wednesday, September 19
Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Start: YWCA on Nicollet Mall (1130 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis)
End: 331 Club
We’ll start in downtown Minneapolis with stops at Red Stag Supper Club, Behind Bars Bicycle Shop, and one additional Northeast pub. You’ll learn about what makes a great bike route and about riding as the seasons change. You’ll also discover the best routes to ride between downtown Minneapolis and Northeast.
Again, we hope to see you at both rides. Feel free to invite family and friends! Please RSVP so we can plan accordingly; e-mail email@example.com or call 651-789-1416.
Monday, June 4th, 2012
The Bike Walk Jingle Contest drew to a close Saturday with a showcase of the top five finalists at Ritz Theater, where the winners of the contest were announced at the end of the night. Finalists Luke Warm and the Cool Hands, Audra Tracy, The Jing Jings!, Glen Everhart and Michael Loonan each played a 15-minute set, including their Bike Walk Move jingles, and shared their stories of biking and walking.
For example, Luke Warm and the Cool Hands rode their bicycles to the Ritz Theater from Saint Louis Park. Audra Tracy rides daily, averaging 25 miles each morning. And Glen Everhart shares a car with his 16-year-old son and each year sets a goal of riding 3,000 miles!
At the end of the showcase, emcee Michael Rainville, partnership marketing manager for Meet Minneapolis, brought Hilary Reeves of Bike Walk Twin Cities on stage to announce the winner of the contest. After much debate, the judges decided on a tie between Luke Warm and the Cool Hands and Glen Everhart! See both performances here:
The jug band and the interactive musician/comedian will both have their jingles played on Cities 97 and other stations this summer and will split the prizes:
- Studio recording time from The Art Institutes International (Luke Warm and the Cool Hands)
- $500 gift card to Music Connection (shared)
- A new Sun Revolutions CB-26 bicycle from Behind Bars Bicycle Shop (Glen Everhart)
Congratulations to the winners, and a big thanks to everyone who entered the contest!
Winner Luke Warm and the Cool Hands
Winner Glen Everhart
Finalist Audra Tracy
Finalist The Jing Jings!
Finalist Michael Loonan
Hilary Reeves announcing the winners
Tags: audra tracy, bicycle, Bike Walk Move, contest, glen everhart, jingle, luke warm and the cool hands, michael loonan, michael rainville, minneapolis, ritz theater, the jing jings, Transit for Livable Communities
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Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Thank you to the 21 talented musicians who entered the Bike Walk Jingle contest. The judging panel was blown away by the creativity and toe-tapping tunes from all the entries—you can listen to them all here.
Bike Walk Move is excited to announce the five finalists, who will perform in a free, open-to-the public concert at the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis on June 2 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Here are your finalists:
The winner of the Bike Walk Jingle Contest will be announced at the conclusion of the showcase event at the Ritz Theater on June 2. The winner will receive the following:
- Studio recording time at The Arts Institutes International Minnesota
- A $500 gift card from Music Connection
- A brand new Sun Revolutions CB-26 bicycle from Behind Bars Bicycle Shop
- The winning song will also be featured in a six-week campaign this summer on Cities 97
Congratulations again to all the finalists and those who submitted tunes. Listen to their songs and come hear the finalists play a FREE showcase on June 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ritz Theater (emceed by Northeast Minneapolis’ own Michael Rainville!). Hope to see you there!
Note: The Bike Walk Jingle Contest is sponsored by Cities97, City Pages, The Arts Institutes International Minnesota, Music Connection, Behind Bars Bicycle Shop.
Tags: Behind Bars Bike Shop, Bicycling Minneapolis, Bicycling MInnesota, Bike Walk Jingle Contest, Bike Walk Jingles, Bike Walk Move, Bike Walk Move Jingles, Biking Minneapolis, Biking Minnesota, Music Connection, The Arts Institutes International, The Ritz Theater
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Monday, May 7th, 2012
Last month, we started a new series on the Bike Walk Stories blog—Featured Routes. In March, we focused on the bike lanes along Blaisdell and 1st Avenues in south Minneapolis. Today, we’d like to take a closer look at two bike boulevards that opened in Northeast last fall.
The 5th St. and 22nd Ave. bicycle boulevards in northeast Minneapolis provide good north-south and east-west routes through a part of town that previously lacked good facilities. The 5th street route is mostly north-south, going from Marcy Holmes and St. Anthony East neighborhoods to the Logan Park and Holland neighborhoods. At NE 26th Street, the route follows the alleyway behind apartments facing University and briefly uses the sidewalk to reach a bike trail to St Anthony Parkway on the northern border of Minneapolis. The 22nd Ave. route is east-west. It cuts across the Bottineau, Holland and Windom Park neighborhoods, connecting Marshall Avenue near the Mississippi River to the Quarry and the Diagonal Trail to the east. Note: Another north-south route, the Presidents Bicycle Boulevard, is planned for the east side of Northeast, running parallel to Central Avenue.
Bicycle boulevards. Minneapolis has installed several bicycle boulevards in the last couple of years. The general idea with bicycle boulevards is to add traffic-calming and safety features to quiet residential streets to make them better for bicycling and walking. Studies of bicycle boulevards in other cities have shown that women prefer them to riding on busy streets with bike lanes. In fact, bicycle boulevards often run parallel to commercial streets. In the case of Northeast, the 5th Street bicycle boulevard runs parallel to University Ave. The 5th street route also passes through the Northeast business district (at Hennepin & Central) and crosses the 13th and 26th Avenue business districts.
Bike signal. The region’s first bike traffic signal at 5th St. and Broadway Ave. NE helps bicyclists cross one of the busier roads in the area. There also are new curb bump outs and crossing signals for people walking.
Bicycle detection stop light. For cyclists taking 5th St. north through the commercial district of Northeast, there is a bicycle detection signal at the intersection of 5th and Central/Hennepin, activated by placing your bike tire on the bike symbol.
Traffic circles. Mini, or “residential”, traffic circles replace stop signs at several intersections in Northeast Minneapolis. Highly-visible, traffic circles make it possible for bikes to proceed without coming to a full stop and also make sure cars slow down while moving through the neighborhood.
Nice Ride stations. There are seven Nice Ride stations close to the 5th St. and 22nd Ave. bike boulevards—just in case you forgot your bike (or don’t own one):
* Central & 20th (between 18th & Lowry
* Logan Park (Broadway & Monroe)
* University & 12th (close to 13th Ave biz district)
* Marshall Ave. & 8th (near Elsie’s & the Yacht Club)
* Hennepin Ave. & Central Ave. (near Whiteys)
* University Ave. & Bank St. (across from Lunds, near Surdyks)
* 100 Main Street (near Saint Anthony Main)
Bike parking. New bike racks have been added at several locations in Northeast Minneapolis, including those along 22nd Ave. at Mill City Cafe, St. John’s Byzantine Church, Dean’s Circle Grocery, Jackson Square Park, and the Firefighters Hall & Museum. Along 5th St., there are new bike racks at Conga Latin Bistro, St. Mary’s Church, and near apartment buildings.
Connects to the University of Minnesota. The 5th St. bike boulevard also connects with the bike lanes along 5th St. SE, which lead to the University of Minnesota campus at Dinkytown via a bicycling/pedestrian bridge over 35W.
Landmarks and notable businesses along routes
The northeast Minneapolis area is home to many wonderful restaurants, watering holes, churches and other landmarks, including:
Gardens of Salonica (5th & 1st)
Red Stag Supper Club (5th & 1st)
Grumpy’s (4th & 22nd—a block off 5th & 22nd)
Hennepin Country Library (22nd & Central)
Northeast Social (4th & 13th—a block off 5th)
The Ritz Theater (4th & 13th—a block off 5th)
Mayslacks (4th & 15th—a block off 5th)
Edison High School (22nd & Monroe)
St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral (5th & 17th)
Northeast Farmer’s Market (2nd & 7th)
Jackson Square Park (22nd & NE Jackson St.)
Windom Park (Johnson St. & 23rd—a block off 22nd)
St. Anthony Park (5th & 3rd)
Tags: Bike Walk Move, Bike Walk Twin Cities, Nice Ride Minnesota, Nice Ride MN, northeast Minneapolis bike boulevards, northeast Minneapolis bike lanes, northeast Minneapolis bike routes, Northeast Minneapolis biking
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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
From your first steps as a child, you’ve known that walking is good for you. Not only does walking offer a host of health benefits, it also can provide several additional advantages – from saving you cash and enhancing your relationships to boosting your brain power and mood.
We’ve long known that walking boosts health. New research shows a significant risk reduction for developing type 2 diabetes among those who regularly walk briskly. In other studies, walking has been shown to reduce the pain of fibromyalgia, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and help you better manage your weight.
An 18-year study of 46,000 men and 15,000 women showed a 40% lower risk of developing a stroke among those who regularly walked. And women who walk regularly after being diagnosed with breast cancer have a 45% greater chance of survival than those who are inactive, according to a prominent oncology journal.
Walking can help you save on gym costs. On average, gym memberships run $40-$60 per person per month. The cost of a single month of gym membership could easily pay for a new pair of sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.
Walking can also help cut your medication costs, not to mention the potential side effects of many medicines. Data from the National Walkers’ Health Study found that those who took the longest weekly walks were more likely to use less medication.
Walking with someone for a half-hour – a spouse, friend, child or other family member – naturally leads to conversation. Those who regularly walk with others report higher levels of satisfaction with their personal relationships. And if you’re a dog owner, that’s a great reason to take a walk. You’ll find your role as “top dog” in your home solidified if you regularly take your four-legged friend for regular strolls.
Need a mental boost? Go for a walk! A recent study of 278 midlife African-American women showed that those who regularly walked were significantly less depressed than those who did not. Similarly, an Italian study tracked 749 older adults who had been identified as experiencing memory problems, and found that those who expended the most energy walking had a 27% lower risk of developing dementia than their less energetic counterparts.
Considering our mild winter so far in the Twin Cities – one of the 10 warmest winters on record – February is shaping up to be a great month to walk. The Winter Walkoff 2012 campaign, through the end of February, specifically urges Twin Cities residents to get outside and walk at least once a day. Those who commit to the campaign are encouraged to post about it on Twitter, at #winterwalkoff.
We’re fortunate that the Twin Cities metro area is primarily pedestrian-friendly. Of the nation’s 52 largest metropolitan areas, we are among the nation’s safest spots for pedestrians, according to Transportation for America. And indeed, three out of four Twin Cities residents keep walking year-round, according to Bike Walk Twin Cities.
Yet even those who regularly walk do not typically walk enough to fully enjoy its ample benefits. The daily walking goal cited by most health experts is 10,000 steps – about 5 miles of walking, or approximately the equivalent of exercising vigorously for 30 minutes.
Tags: #winterwalkoff, Bike Walk Move, Bike Walk Twin Cities, Joan Pasiuk, Minneapolis walking, walking for health, winter walk off, winter walking, winter walkoff
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Friday, February 17th, 2012
Highlighting the significance of bicycling in the Twin Cities, the new bicycle-themed Bryant Avenue Mosaic (at the Bryant Ave. Market at 3200 Bryant Ave. S. in Minneapolis) has been dazzling passerby since its unveiling in the fall of 2011.
Created and installed over six weeks by more than 180 trained volunteers, the mosaic is a natural fit for Bryant Ave. S., which has become a key north/south thoroughfare for bicyclists commuting between downtown and south Minneapolis. The mosaic, designed by Twin Cities artist Sharra Frank and made from thousands of colored and mirrored pieces of tile, is 24 feet long, covers more than 150 square feet, and includes 43 mirrored snowflakes.
The mosaic project was funded by a graffiti prevention micro-grant from the City of Minneapolis, the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG) and Volunteers of America-Minnesota (VOA-MN), and overseen by Mary Ann Schoenberger, director of VOA-MN’s Southwest Senior Center (3612 Bryant Ave. S.). Mary Ann recruited and organized the project’s participants, “ranging in age from 5 to 95,” from several locations, including the Southwest Senior Center, residents of the senior center Walker Place, children from the after-school program at Bryant Square Park, and a volunteer group from Optum Health.
For Bike Walk Move, Mary Ann took a few minutes to answer a few questions about the mosaic project:
1. What can you tell us about the artist who created the mosaic?
Sharra Frank is the artist. Over the last couple of years, she worked with COMPAS on a summer art project for teenagers. She has done a number of major pieces in the Twin Cities, including mosaics at St. Paul’s Children’s Hospital. This was her first large-scale volunteer project.
2. Why was a bicyclist selected as the focal point of the mosaic? What do you believe this bicyclist says about bicycling in our community?
We held two community brainstorming sessions to come up with themes, ideas, and images for the mosaic. A number of people stated that they wanted a mosaic that had fewer, larger images, rather than many small images. We also heard from a number of people that they would like to see biking included, since the neighborhood contains a lot of bicyclists and since Bryant Ave. S. is a major bike route. A number of people also expressed interest in a winter theme. After holding the meetings, we realized that a scene featuring someone bicycling in the winter was a good celebration of the city and the neighborhood. Someone bicycling in a beautiful winter scene demonstrates that people in Minneapolis enjoy being in the outdoors and that biking can be done any time of the year. It also acknowledges Minneapolis’s reputation as one of the top cities for bikers and expresses the neighborhood’s pride in that.
3. Why were so many different people of all ages interested in helping create the mosaic?
Over 180 people between the ages of 5 and 95 worked on the mosaic. With literally thousands of pieces, it was necessary to have many hands involved in the project. We had specific partnerships with the dance class at Barton Open School, Bryant Square Park’s after school program, Walker Place, and Optum Health. We worked closely with the CARAG neighborhood association to inform the neighborhood about the project and many people who lived in the neighborhood wanted to be part of improving Bryant Avenue Market. Many of the seniors who participate at the Southwest Senior Center were involved because they enjoyed being part of a community art project and because they liked interacting with people from the neighborhood.
Many people were “hooked” once they started, as they saw that they were able to make something beautiful. There was always a great sense of doing something good for the neighborhood and working together that permeated all of our building workshops. At the mosaic’s unveiling, we honored a core group of 12 volunteers who had donated more than 40 hours of time each to the mosaic’s construction.
4. What are some of the best, or most unique features of this stretch of Bryant Ave. S.?
The most unique features of Bryant Ave. S. between 30th and 40th Streets are the new bike lanes, Bryant Square Park (which has seen a major upgrade in the last decade with a new playground and concert area), the ice skating at Bryant Square Park and Lyndale Farmstead Park (and the fact that there are two parks within 8 blocks of each other on the same street), the institutions dedicated to seniors (Southwest Senior Center and Walker), and the mix of single-family, duplex and apartment buildings.
5. What has been the reaction of community members, and passerby, to the mosaic?
The reaction has been universally positive. During installation, we had dozens of people stop by to give positive feedback to the volunteers. Over 80 people attended the celebration and unveiling ceremony. People have told me that they think the project should win an award, or tell me how much they miss working on it with the other volunteers.
6. Why was the mosaic project undertaken?
The project was undertaken for the following reasons:
a. Good research that shows that seniors benefit from being involved in high-level arts projects
b. The feedback from the seniors and the community about our last mosaic project (on the southern wall of the Southwest Senior Center) was very positive, and people had been asking if we would do another one so that they could participate
c. Since completing the Southwest Senior Center mosaic, we have not had any graffiti on our building
d. The City of Minneapolis had money to fund such a project
e. The project gave us the chance to have a lasting impact on improving the City of Minneapolis
f. One of our United Way goals is to bring the generations together, and art is a great way to do this
g. The project gave us a great way of introducing our services to area seniors and their caregivers
i. The mosaic gave us a way of providing quality volunteer opportunities for the neighborhood
Tags: Bike Walk Move, Bryant Ave. Market, Bryant Ave. Market Mosaic, Bryant Avenue Market, Calhoun Area Residents Action Group, City of Minneapolis, Sharra Frank, Volunteers of America-Minnesota
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Wind chills in Minneapolis as low as -10F didn’t keep scores of bicyclists and pedestrians from enjoying the Winter Wonder Walk/Ride on Sat., Feb. 11, on the Midtown Greenway.
The event, sponsored by the Midtown Greenway Coaliton, Bike Walk Twin Cities, and the Minneapolis Bike Coalition, encouraged current and would-be bicyclists and walkers to try out new bike equipment and socialize along the Midtown Greenway.
Event host Freewheel Midtown Bike Center touted free rides on fat-tire bikes — ideal for winter bicycling!
Tags: Bike Walk Move, Bike Walk Twin Cities, Freewheel Midtown Bike Center, Midtown Greenway, Minneapolis Bike Coalition, Nice Ride, winter biking, Winter Wonder Walk/Ride
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Monday, January 16th, 2012
The Twin Cities biking and walking community had a busy—and successful—2011. Just take a peek at a few of the events and milestones that took place last year:
- New bikeways, bike boulevards and walking paths debuted all over the area, including the Riverlake Greenway and enhanced bike lanes on 1st and Blaisdell Avenues, just to name two.
- New bike centers opened, including the University of Minnesota Bike Center in September and Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee in October
- We went behind-the-scenes at a few of the Twin Cities most bike-friendly companies, including Clockwork Active Media Systems, Colle+McVoy and Northern Brewer
The cherry on top: December’s news that numbers for both biking and walking in the Twin Cities are up – way up. Bicycling in the Twin Cities increased 52 percent over the past five years, and walking is up 18 percent, according to data from Bike Walk Twin Cities. In fact, from 2010 to 2011 alone, biking increased a whopping 22 percent. And that’s really what all the new bike paths and other infrastructure changes are all about: helping people bike, walk and move more.
Why the increase in biking and walking? Why now? Bike Walk Twin Cities officials attribute the increase to several factors, including new bikeways, fluctuating gas prices and heightened community awareness of the health and social benefits of bicycling.
The big jump in biking and walking numbers drew local and nationwide attention, once again solidifying the Twin Cities as one of the most bike- (and walk-) friendly areas in the country. Here’s a full list of the media/blog stories in the last month:
Huffington Post –“ How to boost biking and walking in your town”
Energy Bulletin – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Planetizen – “Twin Cities see remarkable increases in biking, walking”
Star Tribune – “A new attitude about biking in Minneapolis?”
On the Commons – “How to boost biking and walking in your town”
Minnesota Public Radio – “Advocates tout increase in Twin Cities cyclists”
Common Dreams – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Oregon Emerging Local Government Leaders Network - “The Afternoon Delight” (summary)
MinnPost – “Study says Twin Cities biking up 52% in last five years”
Open Salon – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Downtown Journal – “Community Notebook”
Shareable – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Transit Oriented Development News – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
People for Bikes – “More people than ever are biking and walking in the Twin Cities”
Mostly Water – “How to boost biking and walking even furthering your city”
Tokyo Progressive – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Humanitarian News – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Twin Cities Sidewalks – “Minneapolis bike count show disparities in cycling infrastructure”
Velo Traffic – “Measuring Cycling Growth”
Cycle TC – “5 years, 52% increase in cycling”
TreeHugger – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
AidNews – “How to boost biking and walking even further in your city”
Clearly, the positive news attracted a lot of attention inside and outside the Twin Cities. Here’s to continuing the momentum in 2012!
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Four years ago, only 10 percent of the 35-person Northern Brewer staff biked to its headquarters in Roseville – that’s just three bicyclists. As the company grew, so did the biking culture. Today, the homebrewing retailer employs nearly 100 people, and the number of bike commuters is usually in the range of 20 to 30 percent of the staff.
“I used to know everyone’s bike,” says Autumn Amadou-Blegen, Northern Brewer’s human resources director and one of the original bike commuters. “Now, there’s so many I can’t keep track of whose is whose anymore.”
How did Northern Brewer foster a culture of biking?
Although the number of Northern Brewer bike commuters has grown organically in recent years, a few factors have helped fuel the growing bike culture. Some of the building blocks along the way include:
- A supportive leadership team – Chris Farley, the founder, president and CEO of Northern Brewer, was one of the original three bike commuters.
- The Bicycle Commuter Act, which was passed in 2008, allows Northern Brewer to reimburse its bike commuters up to $20 per month for bike-related purchases. “Employees here use it to buy things like nice saddles and light systems – things that show they’re into bike commuting for the long haul,” Autumn says.
- A few of the employees used to work at County Cycles and Sibley Bike Depot, which means there are plenty of in-house people who are handy with wrenches. In the spring, they perform bike check-overs for fellow employees.
- The company has sought out ways to be involved in the local bike community. In 2009, it started participating in events such as Bike Walk Week and Bike Month. It also volunteered at a Bike Safety Rodeo at the Hancock Recreation Center, where employees conducted bike safety checks and the company donated root beer and gift certificates.
- A year ago, Northern Brewer formed a five-person bike committee to discuss which events it should participate in and ideas for bike-related initiatives. “We’re taking baby steps,” Autumn says, “but the goal is to eventually do bigger things, such as sponsor a local racing team or have a team of employees do the MS 150.”
- As the number of bike commuters grew, storage for the bicycles needed to be addressed. The company invested in a bike rack and a repair stand, which occupy a corner of the warehouse. There’s also a map outlining routes that employees use, along with their home locations and cell phone numbers so that commuters can call someone nearby if they get a flat or need other assistance on their way to and from work.
- All these factors culminated in receiving a Bicycle Friendly Business designation this year from the League of American Bicyclists. “Employees were really proud and excited because it’s national recognition,” Autumn says.
Culture starts with people
The bike commuters at Northern Brewer come from a variety of neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Some have been lifelong bike commuters, and some are fairly new to it. A few employees that make up the company’s bike culture:
- Autumn Amadou-Blegen. In addition to being the company’s director of human resources, Autumn is also a long-time biking enthusiast. Her 7-mile commute takes 20 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic, and takes her from her home in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood down Snelling Avenue, through the State Fairgrounds, then north on Fairview Avenue. “My commute is one of the best parts of my day,” she says. “That’s not the case for most people who don’t bike.” She’s a year-round bike commuter (even using a combo of biking and the bus system when she had pneumonia last winter). For days with inclement weather, Autumn keeps a supply of extra clothing and socks at the office and isn’t stingy about sharing them with employees who may have gotten caught in the rain. Her advice for people interested in bike commuting: “Build up your comfort level. If you’re afraid of biking with traffic, ride your route on a Sunday morning when there’s not as much traffic and there’s no pressure to get to work on time. Or start by taking your bike on the bus and doing just part of your commute by bike.”
- Tom Phelan. A copy editor in the marketing department, Tom started bike commuting right before he started working at Northern Brewer four years ago. He makes heavy use of trails on his 9-mile commute from the Powderhorn neighborhood. “The community of support here is vital,” Tom says. “It’s everything from the big things like having a bike rack and repair stand here to the small thing like chatting with people while you fix a flat.” His advice for people interested in bike commuting: “Connect with other bike commuters. Sibley Bike Shop has free classes on things like maintenance, and Grease Rag in Minneapolis has women’s classes and relaxed rides.”
- Michelle Thomas. Michelle started at Northern Brewer as a fulfillment associate in February and has been bike commuting for six years. The fact that the company was bike friendly was definitely a draw, she says. “I knew it was bike-friendly before I started here, but I didn’t know how much so,” she remembers. “When I started here and saw how bike-friendly it was, it was nice to realize that I wouldn’t be the only person here without a car.” Her advice: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad layers. Do what it takes to get comfortable, wear a helmet and get lights.”
What about the business impact of biking?
As Northern Brewer experienced rapid growth in recent years, the bike culture at the company grew as well. “Overall, we’re prioritizing the creation of more infrastructure and programs that support all functions of the business, including wellness and engagement,” Autumn says. The bike support system at the company is appreciated by employees and is likely a factor in retention, she adds.
The company has started adding more ways employees can be active, too, such as a weekly “recess” (a paid 30-minute break) during the warm months where employees can play soccer outside or take a walk around a nearby lake. “I think managers have seen that folks come back feeling energized, connected to their co-workers and refreshed,” Autumn says.
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal. Now that Nice Ride bikes are tucked away for the winter, consider using the bus for your quick trips to lunch, meetings, doctor’s appointments, or shopping. Using Metro Transit is an ideal way
The following is a post written by Bri Whitcraft, Special Projects Coordinator, Bike Walk Twin Cities. It all started with a video as inspiration and a Tweet as declaration. (My mom thought it was a joke.) Map & Route From my home in South Minneapolis, I biked to St. Paul to borrow the trailer from
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Southwest Journal. Practical, affordable and surprisingly rewarding, winter bicycling has become increasingly popular in Minneapolis, recently named one of the top five cities in the nation for winter bicycle commuting by MetaEfficient. That’s amazing when