People + Bikes = Community
Open Streets // Photo: Mike Beck
About the Show
We believe in the positive power of pedaling to create community. We've sponsored a bike team for 20 years with a focus on beginner and women's racing and happily designate our street space for bike parking and Nice Ride. Each year we show the Tour de France and invite our community to gather around cycling and good food. Though Bike Benefits we offer employee incentives to ride to work & reward our patrons who come on two wheels. We advocate for better biking infrastructure in our city. Biking, like Good Real Food, is core to who we are.
We believe that biking, like Good Real Food, should be for everyone yet we recognize it is not. Dominant narratives and systemic inequities block access to biking for many people. With gratitude, we offer our walls to People + Bikes = Community to celebrate biking of all kinds and highlight the many bike organizations in the Twin Cities who, through biking, work for social justice and inspire positive change for individuals and our community. Together, we can create safe space and community for everyone to ride a bike.
Urban Roots is a Saint Paul organization whose mission is to cultivate and empower youth through cooking, gardening and conservation. Every summer Urban Roots Conservation Interns get trained to safely ride their bikes on the streets of the East Side in Saint Paul. In addition to safety on the road they also learn basic bike maintenance skills like how to change a tire. Then all summer they bike to the many parks on the East Side to do the hard dirty work of restoring our parks to a more natural state. Last summer they biked a combined total of close to 600 miles!
Photo: Emma Freeman
Peace Coffee and bikes go way back. We actually started bike delivering our coffee before we could afford our own roasting machine, but two roasters and a few delivery vans later, bikes remain central to what we do. We ride to work, we ride for work, & sometimes we ride for fun after work—in short, we collectively spend a lot of time in the saddle. We have one part-time and two full-time bike delivery riders who each haul an average of 1800-2500+ pounds and clock around 70 miles per week. The weight limit for each trailer is 400 lbs. (about as much as a piano!). As for the weather, there seems to be no obstacle too great to prevent our bikers from getting coffee to our accounts: un-plowed streets, snow banks, ice, and extreme heat-- no problem! If anything, the harsh winter days often mean our delivery bikes get the trails all to themselves. In addition to being an integral part of our distribution system, we also give love to bikes by sponsoring our own bike racing team and we're often out at local rides and bike events serving up the original energy drink—if you see us, stop by and say hi!
Photo: Paul Irmiter
Our Streets Minneapolis works for a city where biking, walking, and rolling are easy and comfortable for everyone. And here are the reasons given, clockwise from the upper left hand picture:
1. Fernando - “I ride a bike because I like it; it's healthy!”
2. Shruthi - “I ride because it makes me feel empowered; I can get places fast. I love when I’m riding with other friends and just feeling like we are reclaiming our city.”
3. Haley - “I ride because it’s fun and it’s good exercise!”
4. Jonathan - “I ride a bike in Minneapolis for the love of the city!”
5. Jenn - “I can’t think of a single reason not to - so that’s why I ride!”
Photo: Our Streets Minneapolis
NorthPoint Orange Bike Program
Launched as a pilot program by Nice Ride Minnesota in 2014, the Neighborhood program is now based in North Minneapolis as a program of NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Inc. It is a community-based initiative to both change perspectives about bicycling and get more people pedaling in neighborhoods that have historically experienced disinvestment and battled numerous socioeconomic and health disparities. By providing bikes at no charge for people to ride for several months, this program addresses the barriers of getting and keeping a bike running well without requiring a large investment before one learns to love riding. Maintenance of the bike by the community bike shop partner is at no cost to the participant, which helps to start a relationship with the shop staff for future questions about bike ownership.
Group events and rides offer education on how and where to properly lock a bike, how a helmet and bike should fit, as well as how to ride safely on the streets and trails. While setting a time and space for practicing new skills and socializing, these group events also build a support group of people who are all trying to learn together. The goal is that all of these aspects combine to give people what they need to keep riding and form new habits around biking.
Photo: Anthony Ongaro
Full Cycle’s mission is to connect with and support young people experiencing homelessness, our community and our Earth through bikes, business and relationships. Full Cycle uses bicycles and social enterprise to engage homeless youth and provide them with opportunities to increase their self sufficiency and independence. Our business has a positive and healthy impact on our community while also creating social and professional networks that support young people and give them resources and hope for a life beyond the constraints of homelessness.
Photo: Caroline Yang
As the premier African-American bicycling club in the state of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, we have brought diversity to the Twin Cities bicycling community of Minneapolis and St. Paul since 1999.
Who was Major Taylor? A hundred years ago, when bicycle races drew crowds that filled Madison Square Garden, the biggest draw of all was Major Taylor, the Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods of his time. Taylor won his first race at age 13 in Indianapolis. Soon bicycle manufacturer and former racer Louis “Birdie” Munger hired Taylor as a factory helper and nurtured his racing career. Blacks were banned from amateur bike racing in the United States in 1894, just as bicycling’s popularity surged. But the move stimulated the growth of black cycling clubs and black races, which gave Taylor his early opportunities to prove his ability. By the time Munger decided to set up a factory in Worcester -- in part to take advantage of the biking boom, but also to find a more tolerant atmosphere for his black protege -- Taylor was black champion of the United States. “I was in Worcester only a very short time before I realized that there was no such race prejudice existing among the bicycle riders there as I had experienced in Indianapolis,” Taylor wrote in his 1929 autobiography, “The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.” In 1897, the “Colored Cyclone,” as the newspapers called Taylor, had to abandon the quest to become national sprint points champion when Southern promoters refused him entry to key races. When he did compete, he faced hostility from white riders, including threats and physical assault. But Taylor didn’t lose his nerve, or his popularity. He held seven world records in 1898 and won the world championship in 1899. In 1901 he signed a European contract and was welcomed as a hero in France, and went on to beat every European champion.
Photo: Walter Griffin
Slow Roll Twin Cities is a judgement-free bike ride where everyone is welcome.
Slow Roll TC is a group bicycle ride that meets every Thursday night (with some limited exceptions and special events) in the Twin Cities and is part of a national network of community rides. Each week we meet at different venues and take a unique route throughout the city, including all the major and minor neighborhoods that we are so proud of but may be underrepresented in the cycling conversation or the home of historically oppressed communities.
Slow Roll is for everyone--all ages, all skill levels, and every type of bike is welcome. Our slow pace keeps the group safe and gives riders a unique perspective of our great city and its neighborhoods, businesses, and people.
Photo: Matthew Harper
Cycles for Change works to build a diverse and empowered community of bicyclists. C4C operates two community bike shops that support people in self-empowerment through free or low-cost bike repair, bike maintenance education, access to a free bicycle, community bike rides, and learn to ride a bicycle classes. C4C works to support people from black, indigenous, and people of color communities and women/trans/femme communities in developing skills in bike maintenance, confident cycling, and bike movement leadership.
Photo: Ted Hall
The Midtown Greenway Coalition is a coalition of neighborhoods, organizations, and individuals who love the Midtown Greenway and want to protect and enhance it. Our mission is to empower communities to develop, improve, protect, and enjoy the Midtown Greenway as a green urban corridor to improve people's lives.
The Greenway trails are plowed in the winter, lit at night, and open to everyone 24/7. It is the busiest bike trail in Minnesota, with an average of 5,000+ people using it every day!
Photo: Ben Hovland
In 1974 Freewheel Bike was founded by a small group of progressive bike nuts who were looking to challenge the norms of the 1970’s bike industry. With a loan of $600 dollars and an eagerness to change the world, this small group of cyclists started a movement. Paying a livable wage and creating a valuable resource for the dedicated cyclists of Minneapolis were at the heart of their mission. The Freewheel Bike Co-op was the first to offer a repair shop that was open to the public, and the first to see the value in offering repair classes. Teaching the newcomer how to spin the wrenches proved to be an excellent way to create new cycling fanatics. While the shop has evolved since those early days as a Co-op, that same spirit of community involvement lives on in the newest generation of Freewheelers.
Tamales y Bicicletas has worked over ten years to address racial inequities embedded in food, transportation, and immigration systems. Tamales y Bicicletas overarching goals are to improve the health of low-income communities of color in Minneapolis. The programs they feature are diverse and promote civic engagement and leadership development, particularly with Minneapolis’ youth of color. Tamales y Bicicletas has regularly held community workshops on bicycle maintenance, environmental justice, and sustainable agriculture. The organization has also successfully led lobbying efforts surrounding the need for undocumented youth to access in-state financial aid for post-secondary education. Tamales y Bicicletas works to raise awareness on the need to address environmental problems, racial discrimination, and immigration reform, among other issues. Over the last five years Tamales y Bicicletas has worked with area youth who are between the ages of 15 and 20, and of Latino and East-African descent, to create a community garden that features traditional indigenous growing technologies.
Programming includes: Urban Farm Institute/Saber Comer Justicia, Cuatro Elementos Leadership Camp, and Pedal Power Program. Cultural empowerment and leadership opportunities for youth in the environmental arena are major themes within all of the organization’s projects.
Photo: Nancy M. Musinguzi
The Birchwood Racing Team is a Twin Cities-area racing team and cycling club dedicated to the positive experiences of cycling. Our goal is to promote cycling as a healthy way to be active and involved with our community. Birchwood is a committed group of cyclists brought together by our shared love of good food and good bikesI
“I am proud that the team is attached to the Birchwood Cafe, which not only promotes healthy and responsible food (Savory Waffles are the best riding and racing fuel), but also advances social justice efforts in our local community. Likewise, I am proud of what the Birchwood Cafe Racing Team represents locally. I was originally drawn to the team several years ago, when I learned of their strong support and promotion of women's cycling and racing in the Midwest. The team also has a reputation in the Twin Cities for being welcoming to new members of all abilities. Plus, it has just been fun to become friends with a diverse group of people who are as obsessed with bikes and riding bikes as I am. I hope you give us a wave the next time we see you out there!”
~Bike Team member Ren Stinson
Photo: Ren Stinson
At Grease Rag we encourage and empower women/ trans/ femme (WTF) cyclists in a collaborative and fun learning environment through rides, discussions, shop nights and educational seminars in a safer space.
“This photo was taken during a five month bike tour through southeast Asia that included Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand in 2013.
Here, I'm at the top of a stretch of mountains somewhere in central Vietnam.
It was actually taken before my involvement in Grease Rag. I had to return early from this trip because of a death in my family and I arrived back in a cold, rainy October to almost no friends - virtually all of my social circle had dispersed after college. Through my involvement in Grease Rag I was able to re-build the community that I needed. Four years later, Grease Rag is something that I put a lot of energy into and get a lot of joy out of as both a participant and an organizer. It really has changed my life.
I think that Grease Rag is a really important space for and by women, transgender, femme, and gender non-conforming people. The bike world can feel really, really unwelcoming for people who aren't cisgender white men and that's a huge barrier. A space that is expressly designed to support and nurture marginalized people helps them to access the fun, joy, freedom, health, and community that riding bikes can bring.”
~Julia Winkels Grease Rag member
Photo: Julia Winkels
Caroline Yang is a photographer based in St. Paul who specializes in documentary photography. One of her major documentary projects included covering the Tour de France from 2004-2006.
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race that began in 1903 and covers around 2,200 miles over a 23-day period, winding through the Pyrenees and the Alps, finishing at the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Photo: Caroline Yang
Seward Montessori is a Pre-K through 8th grade Minneapolis public school magnet with a dedicated group of staff, students, and families who believe in the power of pedals. The program’s goals are to be…
Inclusive – Whenever possible, bike training, rides, and events are integrated into the school day to maximize access for all students.
Empowering – Bikes can help students build confidence, develop new skills, and expand a student’s sense of their reach and independence. As with many programs at Seward, older students have opportunities to teach and lead younger students. Middle school students are also involved in running the program and maintaining the bike fleet in their on-site workshop.
Supportive – Bike programming enriches academic engagement by providing new perspectives on local geography, physics, science, navigation, local government, and leadership development.
Photo: Brian Cornell
Challenge Roth is the largest iron-distance triathlon in the world with 3,400 individual participants and 650 relay teams from more than 70 nations and over 250,000 spectators along the race course and at the finish triathlon stadium.
The photo is from the base of the famed Solaraberg Hill in Hilpoltstein, where an estimated 50,000 spectators line the climb and part as the race participants pass through on each of the two laps of the course.
The athlete is Laura Bennett of Boulder Colorado, who was also a 2012 Olympian.
The photo is from the 2015 event and was selected by the industry group Triathlon International as the Best Published Triathlon Photo for 2015.
Photo: Paul Phillips
Open Streets Minneapolis brings together community groups and local businesses to temporarily close major thoroughfares to car traffic, and open them up for people walking, biking, skating, and playing. This community event is in its sixth year, and is co-sponsored by the City of Minneapolis.
More than a street festival, Open Streets Minneapolis gives residents an opportunity to explore their neighborhood and local businesses in a safe, fun, and family-friendly way. It encourages the use of active transportation and healthy living, and has a goal of giving residents an opportunity to rethink our streets as public space.
Open Streets Minneapolis is the perfect chance to promote healthy living, local businesses, sustainable transportation and civic pride in Minneapolis and enjoy it from a different perspective. Come wander the Open Streets and have some fun! You can even bring your dog.
Photo: Mike Beck
Artists interested in showing their work at the cafe can send us an email with a letter of interest, resume, and at least five work samples.