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February 25, 2016



MPS SRTS to school returned from the Winter Cycling Congress completely excited. At the Congress we learned from Jason Hall of Slow Roll Detroit and Oboi Reed of Slow Roll Chicago. Do you know what? These bicycle rides are powerful. Says Reed, “We are most interested in bicycles as a vehicle for social change, as a way to improve health, reduce violence, and create jobs. We’re confident that bikes are transformative. This is why we exist. This is why we ride.”

And do you know who else were the big stars of this fancy, international conference? MPS’s very own Pillsbury Pedal Power who led a nine-mile mobile bicycle tour for conference delegates who included local and state leaders and participants from as far away as Finland. Pedal Power was also spontaneously called on to lead the public bicycle parade. In all they biked more than 15 snowy miles. Way to go Afnaan, Hailey, Melissa, Manny, Salmon, Luismario, and Cherica! (Watch the KARE 11 story.)

So are you thinking what I’m thinking? Let’s do an MPS ride! Details to follow—but we are looking at National Bike to School Day, May 4, after school. Contact MPS SRTS if you would like to be involved.

More super stars out there! Remember that snowy day earlier this month when some had their fingers crossed that school would be canceled. Not only was that the day of the Pillsbury Pedal Power bike ride, it was also WINTER WALK DAY across MPS—with more than 20 schools celebratingHale counted 211 walkers, while Loring reported it was “the best walk ever.” At Whittier 63 kids signed in as walkers one as a biker to boot. The winner of the “I walked the longest distance” award came from 18th and LaSalle. More than 60 staff walk and biked to work in celebration of Winter Walk Day and entered the FitBit prize drawing. A record! Thank you all! Congratulations to the winner, Debi Mattson from Lake Harriet Lower! Thank you MPS Wellness and My Personal Solution for offering this Winter Walk Day Staff prize. And kudos to all the schools that are starting to plan for a re-start to the Bus Stop & Walk. A huge Kudos to the wellness team at Lucy Laney that will start one this spring! And thank you thank you thank you to the staff and students at T-Plus who diligently tune and maintain the MPS bicycles over the winter.

Great info below. As always, let me know what is happening in your community and how MPS Safe Routes to School can support your walk/bike dreams.

MPS Staff Wellness Opportunity |  Mobile Mammography | Friday, March 25 

Mammo a-go-go is coming back to the Minneapolis School District! On-site mobile mammography is available for employees and spouses. Appointments only take 15 minutes. See flyer or contact Lindsay Biller, mps.wellness@mpls.k12.mn.us, 612-668-0520 for more information.

Bicycling and Equity  | Early mornings with Elizabeth Glidden | Turtle Bread, 4762 Chicago Ave | Friday, Feb 26 | 7:30-9am

With a city-wide protected bikeway plan, an expanding list of streets with bicycle lanes, and creative plans for modifying streets to better serve walkers and bicyclists, bicycling opportunity for casual riders is on the rise in Minneapolis. At the same time, bicycle advocates are challenged to identify how bicycling infrastructure engages the interest and attention of people of color and women and how plans for change don’t further gentrification, but benefit communities that most deserve investment.  We will be joined by Matthew Dyrdahl, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator at the City of Minneapolis, Anthony Taylor, Adventures Director at the Loppet Foundation and Co-founder of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club, and José Luis Villaseñor, Community Organizer with the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. 

FREE Bicycle RESOURCES  | Fix a Flat Class at the Hub |  Bicycle Open Shops at Minneapolis Bicycle Shops

The Hub School, 3020 Minnehaha Avenue, is offering FREE Fix-a-Flat Classes!:  FREE hour-long class is designed to keep you on your bike and enjoying your ride! We’ll go over the tools needed to fix your flat, how to identify its cause and techniques for making the whole process quick and painless. Bring your bike to practice on and wear clothes you won’t mind getting dirty. These classes are free of charge with the donation of a canned food item (for our local food shelf). See: http://www.thehubbikecoop.org/about/classes-pg58.htm


Fix your bike for at a free at an Open Shop Event. Several Minneapolis bicycle shops have times when they loan their stands, tools, and also may have volunteers on hand to help you fix your bicycle:

·         Tuesdays, 3-7 p.m. Venture North, 1830 Glenwood Ave

·         1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 7pm to 9pm Recovery Bike Shop, 2504 Central Ave NE,

·         Wednesdays, 4-8p.m.; Saturdays, 1-4 Cycles for Change, 1915 E 22nd St.

·         Grease Rag hosts several open shops a week at various locations. Grease Rag encourages and empowers WTF (women/ trans*/ femme) cyclists in a collaborative and fun learning environment through rides, discussions, shop nights and educational seminars in a safer space.  See http://greaserag.org/



Black History Month |  Major Taylor  | 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps | Kittie Knox

Marshall W. Taylor, known as Major Taylor, was a cycling champion who broke the color barrier. In the late 1800’s Major Taylor braved more than the competition to become one of the most acclaimed cyclists of the world. Read more.


Formed in 1869, the 25th Infantry was one of four African-American military units posted west of the Mississippi, serving as protectors and peacekeepers. One of their most grueling tasks involved cycling long distances under realistic field conditions. The 23 riders of the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps traveled 1,900 miles in 40 days. Read more.


When Kittie Knox walked into the annual meeting of the League of American Wheelmen (now the League of American Bicyclists) in 1895 and presented her membership card, she also presented a challenge to American racial segregation. Knox, a bi-racial seamstress, avid cyclist, and at the time only 21 years old, had been a card-carrying member of the League since 1893. But when the League passed a color bar in 1894 declaring that only white people could be awarded membership, Knox’s status in the organization was called into question. Rather than accept the news sitting down, Knox got on her bike. Clad in men’s clothing and with the support of her peers in the cycling community, Knox entered a racially segregated social space and calmly asserted her right to be there. While there are conflicting reports on the outcome of the day – some newspapers claimed she was denied entry while others said she was accepted – her appearance at the event nonetheless thrust the issues of race and gender into the public consciousness. At a time when few black people – and even fewer black women – were riding bikes in the U.S., Knox’s actions were groundbreaking. Receiving wide public support for the act from both black and white community members, Knox challenged public perceptions of both black people and women, igniting local and national debate about race and gender in the cycling world and in the wider community. Read an open letter to Kittie Knox




$500 Schoolyard Gardens Grants |  Jeffers Foundation  | Due March 10 

Check out these grant opportunities currently available, including Jeffers Foundation offering $500 grants for the 2016-2017 school year.  To access applications and funding opportunities visit here.


MPS Safe Routes to School Email List

MPS Safe Routes to School (MPS SRTS) is part of Safe & Healthy Students and is located in Operational & Security Services (OSS). It is funded through the Statewide Health Improvement Program and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Safe Routes to School.


MPS SRTS sends occasional emails like this one to walk/bike friends, enthusiasts, and champions across Minneapolis Public Schools with bike/walk/wellness information, opportunities, and events. Please email Jennifer.bordon@mpls.k12.mn.us to be added to or removed from this list. Please share as you see fit.