Expanded Minneapolis Bike Week kicks off Sunday

  • Article by: JEFF STRICKLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 2, 2014 - 4:06 PM

Bikers rode through a closed Lowry Avenue N. in Minneapolis during the Lowry Open Streets Minneapolis 2012 Harvest Fest.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

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We’ve got you this time, Portland.

In our long-running tug-of-war to be deemed the nation’s best biking city, we’re pulling out all the stops on Bike Week, which starts Sunday.

We’re not going to be satisfied with a mere seven-day week. We’re tossing in a bonus, calendar-be-damned eighth day.

If that’s not enough to make your chain jump the sprocket, consider this: While Portlandian bikers will be focusing on commuting to work (something we used to do), we’re shifting gears and embracing all sorts of bicycling, from pedaling to the city parks to shop-hopping at neighborhood businesses.

“Every day of the week will have a special theme,” said Nick Ray Olson, who is coordinating the events for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition under the auspices of more than 50 sponsors, including the city of Minneapolis, Bike Walk Twin Cities and Metro Transit.

The themes include Bike to Parks Day on Sunday, Bike to School Day on Wednesday, Bike to Local Businesses Day next Saturday and Family Bike Day next Sunday.

“In previous years, we’ve focused on commuting to work, and there will be a day — Thursday — with that theme,” he said. “But it’s going to be much bigger than other years.”

Also new: Members of the Hennepin County Board, Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges will be leading groups of commuters as they ride into downtown. Other programs during the week include demonstrations of the Nice Ride bike rental program and pit stop stations offering free repairs along major bike paths.

For a full list of each day’s activities, go to www.mplsbikeweek.org and click on the drop-down menu for “Events.”

Then just sit back and watch us blast past those biking wannabes in Portland.

“We’re going to smash them,” Olson promised. □

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