SPOKES is a new community biking and walking center in Minneapolis. Our goal is to get more people to bike and walk for transit, recreation and exercise. We are located near the LRT Bike Trail at 1915 East 22nd Street (1/2 block west of Minnehaha Avenue, 1 block south of Franklin Avenue and the Franklin LRT station). Browse this site and visit our Facebook Page to find out more about us. SPOKES is a nonprofit and, of course, we would also really appreciate a donation! SPOKES is a Seward Neighborhood Group, Inc. program.
UPDATE! The theme for decorated bikes will be “Fire and Ice.”
On Saturday, December 7, be in the parade Seward Winter Frolic parade from Number 7 Fire station, down Franklin Avenue to the Seward Coop–A Fire Truck, music, pedicabs, art bikes and art cars, bike bees. All you need is a decorated bike.
Decorate your bike for the parade on Friday evening from 4 to 6:30 pm at Articutlure (all ages welcomed) or at the last minute at 9 AM Saturday at the Seward Cafe or decorate it at home and just show up at the parade:
- Friday 4-6:30pm at Articulture (2613 E Franklin) - Bike Decorating! Bring your own bike to decorate for the art parade following the unveiling at the Fire-station on Saturday morning!
- Saturday 9am at Seward Cafe (2129 E Franklin) – Warmup, gather, and do last minute bike decorations in the courtyard before we head over to the unveiling
- Saturday 10am at the fire-station (21st and Franklin) – Unveiling of new art installation
- Saturday 10:30am at the fire-station - Art parade to kickoff the winter frolic! Art cars, art bikes, music, and a fire truck will be West heading down Franklin. Get ready to make some noise!.
It’s that time of year when you can’t leave the house without a jacket and gloves, but your bike still rolls, so why not use it? Here are some tips and things to remember for biking when it’s cold out.
- What to wear when riding? Layers. It is important to wear layers of clothing to regulate your body temperature. For your core, abiding by a 3 layer rule that will keep you warm and dry. A thin base layer next to your skin that will wick sweat away and keep you dry—wool or nylon fabrics are good for this; cotton behaves poorly. A middle layer to insulate and trap warm air pockets will keep you warm, especially when topped with a wind shell to keep out the breeze. Biking is exercise though, so your body will warm up—if you start out a little underdressed, you should be warmed up in a mile or two.
- Pay attention to your extremities! Most of your heat escapes out of your head, so hats and scarves or balaclavas are good for containing that heat. Hands are warmest when fingers can be next to one another, so mittens are good options especially when they are layered with liner gloves inside of a wind-proof outer shell. Feet are also highly susceptible to cold—the layering principle applies here too. Wear medium to heavy boots that are a little too big so you can wear thick socks. Some people keep the heat in by wearing bags inside their shoes to keep moisture contained, wind out, and heat in.
- Be Visible. The sun sets early and rises late, so leave prepared to ride in the dark. You should have a white light in front and a red light in the rear—blinking, if possible, as it is most visible to oncoming road users. Reflective gear is also good for being seen by oncoming road users.
- While many roads and trail surfaces have time to dry out, new road conditions and hazards exist in winter that don’t the rest of the year. A major change is that snow plowing makes them much narrower, and bicycle lanes can disappear. Bicycles are allowed to take the full lane, so do so if you feel you don’t have enough room to maneuver around small road hazards (snow, potholes, trash, etc)! Never compromise your safety for the car behind you. Icy patches exist too—ride in a straight line over them, without accelerating or decelerating until you are clear. Wet or snowy roads make for slower braking conditions—be prepared for longer stopping distances.
- If necessary, be prepared to use other transit options if conditions change either for you or on the road. It is fine if your winter biking expedition needs to become a one way trip! All Metro Transit buses and lightrail trains are outfitted to carry bikes on them, so if you find yourself out with your bike, you can easily bring it with you. Carry a phone or memorize a friend’s phone number that has a vehicle in the case you need to be picked up.
You don’t have to bike every day to be a “winter biker.” Sure, some do, but you can ease into it—take it one day at a time, and see what you’re comfortable with. Don’t let the idea of riding in 10 degree weather scare you off—try it out when the weather is in the 40s, the 30s, the 20s… and see how low you can go. Knowing yourself and being aware of the conditions outside is part of what it means to bike in winter, and regardless—any riding from here on out “counts,” so any time in the saddle is worth congratulating!
Ride on, friends.
Ana Begej–SPOKES Trainer/Mechanic
Winter Riding Skills: We will be practicing our riding skills outside to help navigate ice, potholes, small lanes, and darkness. Come ready to ride. Monday Nov 18, 6-8:00pm
– Grease Rag Monday from 7 to 9 PM
– Hennepin County meeting from 7 to 9 PM
– Bike Overhaul class 6pm to 8:30pm
–CLOSED No Open Shop. Next open shop Wednesday, December 4
–CLOSED. No Volunteer Night. Next Volunteer Night Thursday, December 5
–CLOSED. No Open Shop and the Hub Mini-store is closed
Colder temps are here and snow will be here soon enough. Neither of these facts mean that you must stop bicycling.
In Monday’s Winter Biking Skills class, we will briefly review how to dress for winter riding, and several easy things you can do to help your bike be easier to ride and perform better this winter. We will spend the bulk of the class discussing and practicing bicycle handling skills and hazard avoidance so that when the snow hits, you will feel better prepared. We will also touch on route selection for winter commuters. Take it from your instructors Ana and Andrew, riding during the winter is often beautiful and usually enjoyable.
Please email email@example.com to sign up or just show up at SPOKES with you bike and lights. If you can’t make it, we will be running this class again in January. Also check out these great winter riding tips from our pals at The Hub Bicycle Co-Op. Let it snow…
UPDATE: We had a great turn-out for this meeting–25 people who are interested in biking and knew what works and what doesn’t work. Antonio Rosell of the Community Design Group lead the meeting and made sure everyone had a chance to provide comments. Lots of great ideas came from the community residents.
Hennepin County and Three Rivers Park District (Three Rivers owns or manages the large regional parks and regional bike trails in Hennepin County that are not within the Minneapolis city limits) are revising the county-wide bike and regional trail plan. The plan identifies bike and trail routes, and sets priorities, goals, and guidelines for bike routes and regional trails.
Join the conversation at a community listening session at SPOKES at 7 PM on Monday, November 25 to share your ideas about how to improve bicycling throughout the region.
Why this is important? Most of the major through streets in Minneapolis are Hennepin County Roads. (For example: Franklin Ave, Lake Street, Washington, Broadway, Penn Avene North, Central Avenue, Lowry Avenue, Cedar Avenue, and University Avenue).
This means that Hennepin County makes all the decisions when these streets are repaired or improved—are there bike lanes added? Are there protected bike-ways? Do they improve the safety for bikes at intersections?
The Bicycle Overhaul class will run from 6 – 8:30 PM on 11/19, 11/26, 12/3 and 12/10.
Students will learn to adjust, repair and renew many of the important systems found on standard geared and single speed bicycles. Students can bring a bicycle they would like to work on or choose to work on a SPOKES’ bike. We will cover:
- Tire and tube systems
- Axles and quick releases
- Wheel hub overhaul
- Wheel trueing
- Braking systems
- Shifting and drivetrain systems
- Bottom brackets
- Freewheel and cassette systems
Prior experience with bicycle repair is not required, however this is an intermediate level class. Students are welcome to practice or review skills and repairs learned in the class during Open Shops or Volunteer night.
There is no charge for this class but the suggested donation is $20 – $140 dollars for the four week series. Donations can be made in person or on the here.
The instructors, Ana Begej and Andrew Magill both have years of experience with bicycle repair, teaching and riding in all types of weather. Ana and Andrew are excited to help students rejuvenate their bicycles and learn new repair skills. There is no charge for this class but the suggested donation is $20 – $140 dollars for the four week series. Donations can be made in person or on the spokes website
Join community members for a ride from SPOKES to the brand new Somali Artifact & Cultural Museum. This is the first Somali cultural museum in North America. There will be live traditional music at the event!
- Sunday, November 17, 2013
- 2pm–Meet with your bike at SPOKES, 1915 E. 22nd Street, Minneapolis
- 3pm–We’ll be at the Somali Artifact & Cultural Museum at 1516 East Lake Street.
Cost for museum: $9 for adults, $ 7 for kids and seniors.
Call 612-787-7433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or excitements.