Posts Tagged ‘minneapolis’
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, October 6th, 2011
Annual Bike Fest events in North Minneapolis encourage children and their families to learn more about biking and biking safely. One organizer shares how the events come together and what she hopes the community will take away from them.
Name: Janet Marvin
Occupation: Current: Program Director for Herb Brooks Foundation; Past: Folwell Center for Urban Initiatives – City Kids
You’re an advocate for getting more kids in North Minneapolis to bike. Why is this important to you?
Bicycling is a great way to stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors. Minneapolis has great bike trails. Bikes provide transportation for youth to get to destinations like church, school, parks and local stores.
The Folwell Center for Urban Initiatives (FCUI) created Bike Fest as part of its City Kids initiative; that program was then adopted by the Webber-Camden Neighborhood as a primary event in 2010 and 2011. The Pohlad Family Foundation supported the 2011 Bike Fests and delivered bike programming in six events across the northside from May to August. These events served more than 1,000 people, primarily youth, and included bike giveaways, helmet safety with 1,000 helmets donated by the American Academy of Neurology, bike maintenance and repair.
What was your role in the summer of 2011 Bike Fests?
My role was to coordinate the events; bringing together volunteer mechanics at the host site, organizing activities and volunteers.
The Bike Fest event was started seven years ago through the Folwell Neighborhood Association (FNA) office. North Minneapolis did not have a bike shop or a place where families could take bikes and get basic repairs done. We thought it would be a great idea if together with FNA, PAL (Police Activities League) and the Minneapolis Parks, we could offer a solution to some of the bike issues. Since then, it has grown from doing events at three sites to doing six sites this past summer. This past summer, The American Academy of Neurology donated 1,000 helmets to be fitted and given away. The Bike/Walk Ambassador organization came in and set up the safety course at the events. The Pohlad Family Foundation helped with buying new supplies to fix the bikes and also provided hot dogs at the events.
Bike Fest is a family event with some of the activities focused for 6- to 12-year-old girls and boys. They register for a chance to win a new bike; there are two brand new bikes raffled off at each event. Then we also raffle off used bikes that have been donated and repaired. At the registration table the kids get a “punch card” with activities on it. Once they complete the punch card they will get a gift bag. The gift bag typically contains a water bottle, lock, stickers, etc. At the Bike Fest there are six to eight activities for the kids to participate in: repair a flat tube, ride the safety course, get fitted for a new helmet, get a free basic tune-up, ride a high-wheeler, ride a unicycle, brain injury simulation station.
What’s one piece of advice you would give a youth if they were looking to ride a bike more frequently?
Wear a helmet. Lock your bike when you are not riding it! Ride safe and enjoy the trails we have; we are so blessed to have such a great trail system.
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
For a group of parents in Minneapolis, the old admonishment, “When I was your age, we walked to school, uphill, both ways,” is losing its effectiveness. Now, their children can simply reply, “Me too.” That’s because families of the Lyndale Community School have built a robust walking school bus program, led by parent volunteers. Scott Bordon, one of the volunteers who spearheaded the effort, shares how they got started.
You lead and organize a “walking school bus” in the Lyndale neighborhood. Can you tell us what a “walking school bus” is and how you got involved?
The route actually starts in Kingfield and then crosses into the Lyndale neighborhood where Lyndale Community School is located. A walking school bus is similar to motorized yellow school bus in that it has a set route and schedule with pick up stops, but students walk instead of ride. Parent volunteers lead the route (at least one in front and back). Parents serve as crossing guards and utilize stop paddles and safety vests.
During Changing School Option, a Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) District effort to get students closer to home, we switched our children to Lyndale Community School. Although we lived just outside the walk zone at Lyndale, we and other parents were excited for our children to walk to school–and chose to completely forgo the school bus. What started with just a small effort grew to a school-wide initiative when Lyndale Principal Ossie Brooks-James said let’s participate in International Walk to School Day. As a result, Julie Danzl from the Minneapolis School District encouraged me to apply for a Safe Routes to School mini-grant. Being awarded $1,000 grant helped expand our efforts, allowing us to buy stop paddles and safety vests, make t-shirts, and expand to more routes.
What’s the difference between walking and taking the bus to school for your kids? Why not just take the regular morning bus?
The difference is huge. Our kids get a gentle start, in the sunlight, in the neighborhood–moving fluidly between friends, rather than in a “stay in your seat,” dark school bus. Walking to school also prepares them for independence in a way the school bus or being driven to school can’t–children learn their way around the neighborhood and how to navigate city streets safely. Neighbors and motorists smile and wave at the sight of the block-long line of children walking to school. I don’t think the yellow bus elicits the same reaction.
How many families are involved in your walking school bus? What kind of route do you take? How long does it take?
We have four different routes. The original route operates every day and has more than 30 children. All these children live outside the walk zone–a little more than half a mile away. This bus runs everyday, rain, sun, snow, and wind and has never been late (not too many fossil fuel buses can say that!). Students that once attended more than seven different schools now walk this route to Lyndale.
The other three other routes operate in the fall and spring one or two times a week. Those routes range from 10 to 30 children. The routes are mapped mainly based on availability of parent volunteers and proximity to students. These routes are about one mile long–but some students walk further to reach the first designated stop.
Kids love walking to school. At Lyndale, we are fortunate to have a culturally and economically diverse student population. There is enthusiasm for walking throughout Lyndale students. Often students embrace the idea of walking to school and their parents are the ones who need convincing. And the kids are proud when they have walked to school–they’ve accomplished something for themselves and also for the environment.
Have you heard of other walking school buses around the metro? The country? Is this a part of a growing nationwide trend you’ve noticed?
Yes. This simple idea “has legs” and is part of a solution for so many modern problems–pollution, obesity, school budget shortages, alienation and lack of community. People call me or Lyndale School regularly to learn how they can set up walking buses for their own children. This school year Minneapolis Public Schools will work to implement Safe Routes walk and bike to school programming in ten additional schools. You can find walking bus websites and videos from around the country.
What tips or advice do you have for other families or parents wanting to start their own neighborhood walking school bus?
All it takes is a few committed parent volunteers and a supportive administration. The National Center for Safe Routes to School is a great resource. Participating in International Walk to School Day is another great way to get involved. Once people walk together once–they will want to do it again. And again. At Lyndale we’ve added to the fun of walking to school with music, t-shirts, “I Walked/I Biked” stickers, special guest walkers (once, even Mayor R.T. Rybak) and a Walking Bus newsletter with student-voices and “news from the routes.” We’ve celebrated the arrival of the walking buses with Somali Tea. Our principal, teachers, and PTA have a “yes” attitude, a “let’s try it and see” perspective. I’d tell parents, “Go for it!” Figure out what works for your school community. One committed person can make all the difference.
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