Open Streets Mpls to host six events in 2014, adds new Kingfield and Greenway happenings

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Joanna Fox
Last year's Open Street in northeast Minneapolis
Now in its fourth year, Open Streets Mpls has proven to be a successful festival series. At each event, a major street closes down for the afternoon, and folks are invited to stroll along on foot or ride a bike at their leisure, free of traffic. Along the way, there are plenty of happenings to take in, including sidewalk sales, theatrical performances, roving entertainers, neighborhood organizations, live music, and more. While these gatherings are most prolific in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Richfield have also hosted their own celebrations.

Open Streets organizations tend to announce more dates closer to summer, but right now it looks like Open Streets Mpls is set to host six free gatherings. New spots include a Kingfield Open Street along Nicollet Avenue, a Franklin Avenue event, and a celebration on the proposed north Minneapolis Greenway. We've got the dates and locations after the jump.

See also:
Faces of Open Streets Northeast 2013 [slideshow]



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30 Days of Biking partners with Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Categories: Cycling
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Now in its fifth year, 30 Days of Biking asks participants to pledge to bike a little (or a lot) each day for the month of April. That might mean biking to work, biking as a morning workout, or taking a moment to bike around the block. Folks are then invited to share their successes and struggles online at 30daysofbiking.com. The event is organized locally, but has seen pledges from cycling enthusiasts around the world. Recent signups this year include folks from Minneapolis, Belarus, Spain, and Canada.

For 2014, the folks behind the challenge are sweetening the deal. This morning, they announced a partnership with the charitable organization Free Bikes 4 Kidz.
  
See also:
Top 10 bike shops in the Twin Cities
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Becoming a winter biker: Six lessons learned

Categories: Cycling, Winter
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Eric__I_E
One evening not so long ago, I was struggling over a hazardous bike path into downtown Minneapolis. Witnessing my work, a fatbiker shouted across the path's poorly plowed expanse.

"How's it going?"

"Great!" I said back, and meant it, though I'd almost fallen in front of him. I smiled then rode on. I wasn't going to stick around to see how his enviable fatbike handled the terrain that had worked me and my single-speed. With only a mile to go, I was in animal mode, my eyeballs almost frozen, my body clad in Merino. Lovin' it.

This past November, I got a new job that meant, after a year-plus break from bike commuting, I'd finally have a good route again. Twelve miles across the Twin Cities. Years ago, biking to work -- 17 miles a day, every day -- had formed a cornerstone of my soul.

Now, during the toughest winter in years, I've once again gained a bike commute. Here, during my haphazard return to winter biking, is what I've re-learned.


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Cirque do SoGay rides again this Saturday

Categories: Cycling, LGBTQ
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Photo by Joe Sullivan
The fifth annual Cirque du SoGay launches from Peace Coffee this Saturday. The ride, hosted by the Queer Bike Gang, is designed to connect participants to LGBTQ hotspots and resources through a scavenger hunt via bicycle. The theme this year is "Beyond Marriage," acknowledging that Minnesota's legalization of gay marriage doesn't conclude the LGBTQ struggle for civil rights.

"Aside from the fact that marriage isn't what everybody wants, there a lot of issues affecting queer people that still need to be addressed," says E.G. Nelson, Queer Bike Gang coordinator.


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Bike Smut 7: All aboard the Porny Express

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(Editor's note: This event will not be taking place at Bedlam Community Center as previously reported. It is now set to happen at Ground Zero.)

This Friday, Bike Smut returns to Minneapolis with its seventh selection of erotic short films created by cyclists from around the world. This chapter, called the Porny Express, continues to connect the freeing nature of human-powered transportation with DIY pornography.

To protect the privacy of the filmmakers, Bike Smut is not available for download or DVD purchase. The only way to see it is at Bedlam Community Design Center as part of a live audience. The 13 selected films hail from across the globe, featuring works by filmmakers from Oakland, Vancouver, Chicago, Gainesville, Montreal, Berlin, Milan, and Geneva.

See also:
50 Shades of Minnesota: 50 reasons why Minnesota is sexy



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Bikes banned from Arboretum's Three-Mile Drive... for now

Categories: Cycling
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evilfoo
No bikes allowed, for now
On any given summer weekend, Minnesotans take to nearby trails to enjoy nature via bike, foot, or skates. Some days can be quiet, others may be a little too crowded for comfort for some. According to the folks at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, this was the case for its popular Three-Mile Drive.

See also:
Top 5 trails in the Twin Cities



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Powderhorn 24: Twenty-four hours on a bike

Categories: Cycling
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All photos by Birgitta Anderson
Fun folks showed up for the Powderhorn 24 this past weekend
Imagine settling onto your bike saddle on a Friday evening with hundreds of cyclists, diversely clad in items such as padded-Lycra shorts and handcrafted jorts, all around you. Your mission, over the next 24 hours, is to pedal as many miles as you can on a five-mile square of Minneapolis's Powderhorn neighborhood. While other Twin Citians party till 2 a.m., you'll ride. As they scramble their eggs the next morning, you'll still be biking. You'll pedal and pedal until your legs give out, until you've turned into a zombie who bicycles that route over and over. You're about to get very, very intimate with your bike. Barry White intimate.

Between 7 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday, over 300 cyclists from the Twin Cities and elsewhere rode -- or tried to ride -- their bikes for 24-hours straight. Organized by a crew of Twin Cities bike fans, the Powderhorn 24 (PH24) is a daylong race emphasizing endurance, community, and hyper-caffeinated wakefulness. You can tackle it with a relay team, or go solo for all 24 hours. It's awesomely, stupendously challenging, and it's a helluva lot of fun.

For the second time, with my black-and-white road bike beneath me, I participated in the Powderhorn 24 as a solo male. I mostly lived up to the task. Also, I didn't die.

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"I Bike for Shaina" releases merch to support injured cyclist

Categories: Cycling
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courtesy David Briscoe
Shaina's supporters have raised more than $12,000 sincer her bike accident on July 13.
On the afternoon of July 13, Shaina Briscoe was riding in an alley-cat bike race downtown when she collided with a car. She was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed a traumatic brain injury and a broken jaw.

But before she made it to the hospital, dozens of cyclists gathered around her at the Hennepin and Washington intersection, offering whatever help they could. In the nearly two weeks since the crash, that same cycling community has turned out to support Briscoe's recovery.

See Also:
- The Current volunteer suffers severe head injury in bike accident


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Summer cycling: A road trip for experts

Categories: Cycling
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Photo by Daniel Murphy
If you're looking for a little more bang than our intermediate trip has to offer, think about taking our expert trip to Carver Park Reserve camping grounds in Victoria. This ride, which utilizes the same paths as our intermediate one, adds 10 extra miles each direction (which may not seem like much, but the end of the route is mostly hills).

Carver Park is the second largest park reserve in the Three Rivers Park District, and offers nine miles of beautiful biking trails, several lakes, camping grounds, picnic areas, and even a nature center, making it a great destination to spend the weekend after a long ride.

Campground reservations range in price from $14.50 a night for a small personal site, to as much as $40 a night for a large group campsite. Tip: pool money together with your friends if you want more privacy offered in the group campsites.

Expert Trip: Carver Park Reserve
Trails: Midtown Greenway, Cedar Lake Trail, Minnesota River Bluffs LRT, Lake Minnetonka LRT
Distance: 31 miles
Estimated Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes


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USA Today names Midtown Greenway a top urban bike path

Categories: Cycling

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vinzcha

If Twin Cities bike paths were compared to highways and freeways in the cities, then some might say that the Midtown Greenway is a little like 94: high trafficked, ideal for many commutes, and essential to city transportation. USA Today seems to agree, as it has named the path one of the top 12 in the nation.

Related stories:
Top 5 trails in the Twin Cities


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