Somewhere more than a year ago, a few people who hoped we could get a Minneapolis bike advocacy group going were trying to come up with a “Vision” for the group. We did some sort of “around the room” thing where we each said why we rode or how we hoped cycling would transform Minneapolis – I don’t remember the question.
I was somewhere near the end, and I noticed that while every answer was totally different, there was one common thread. Everyone mentioned how riding made us feel free, or happy, or joyful. So, the Coalition vision starts, “We envision a city where riding a bicycle is joyful…” Joyful, whatever that means to each rider on any day. Calming. Friendly. Relaxing. Exhilarating. Welcoming. Inspiring. Social.
Most of this year we’ve talked about lane widths, or how to get people involved, or bike parking, or figuring out permitting for Open Streets. Well, it’s time for us to share the joy, so we’ve found a few volunteers (me, Alex, and Joe) to plan a ride – we’re meeting up at Gold Medal Park at 1:00 on October 2.
Snak Shak wrote a sweet post about the ride. And an out-of-the-blue cyclist I would never have picked as “friend” with totally cheered me last night with his enthusiasm for my no-name bike frame. While his enthusiasm was way more gearhead than I could EVER muster, he reminded me again of what all cyclists share – he loves bikes, and he easily advised me on the best route home, including lane markings, pavement conditions, and sketchy apartment buildings. If I’m lucky on Oct 2, I’ll meet some more equally enthusiastic [joyful?] folks who I might never otherwise connect with.
Besides riding, we’ll experience a few of the things the Coalition has or is working on, have some snacks, and hopefully learn what some of the other local bike groups are up to. We’ll check out the most beautiful park in North Minneapolis, and look for a missing NE bike lane. There’s a shorter family ride for those who lack (or think they lack) the stamina an time for 17 (slowish) miles.
You can RSVP, see who’s coming, or invite your crew on the Facebook event. And in any case, please help us get the word out. However you think of your cycling persona, join us to celebrate what we all have in common and revel together in the pleasure of riding a bike.