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June 7, 2016


Safe Routes to School Friends,

Today Sebastian learned to ride a bicycle! TODAY! The last day of school and his last chance before the he, his teachers, and the bicycle fleet head out for the summer. Have you ever seen the smile of a fourth grader who has just learned to navigate on two wheels? Amazing!--almost as good as when you first ride yourself. Cheers to him and all the students who tried and failed and tried and failed and tried and failed and tried and failed until, finally, they tried and SUCCEDED. Cheers to ALL—young and old—who tapped into inner strength and perseverance and learned something this year that was really hard at first!

Feeling grateful—that learning happens EVERY DAY—for me, for Sebastian, for MPS students and for MPS staff--even on the very last day of school. Feeling grateful for MPS teachers who may or may not be big bikers themselves, but who learn and try and risk because they know these experiences are good for their students. Feeling grateful for MPS teachers brand new to the district who jump in and say “YES!’ Feeling grateful for ALL the YES PEOPLE across the district (staff, parents, community members, volunteers) who do their very best for the children of our city. Those people are YOU—and you are making magic. THANK YOU. It has been my sincere pleasure to work with you this year. I hope you all can pause to reflect on your highlights this school year. You will see some of the Safe Routes to School ones below.  

I wish you a fantastic summer. See you in August—unless, of course, I see you on the trails. J Jenny


A few 2015-2016 Safe Routes to School highlights 

  • Eleven schools held once, monthly or weekly Bus Stop and Walks this year: Northrop, Seward, Lucy Laney, Loring, Lyndale, Keewaydin, Wenonah, Bancroft, Marcy, Hale and Pratt. Each week, more than 3,000 “extra” students experienced the joys and reaped the benefits of walking to school.
  • More than 1,000 MPS students discovered freedom, beauty, and adventure on the streets and trails of Minneapolis using the MPS bicycle fleet. These students from Loring, Seward, Whittier, Bethune, Nellie Stone Johnson, Marcy and Lyndale collectively pedaled their bicycles more than 6,000 miles—going farther than the year before and biking the equivalent of  Miami to Seattle and THEN BACK AGAIN. 600 more students will be bicycling EVERY DAY in the Stem Academy summer programs at Franklin MS and Pillsbury Elementary. More good news: few schools have bike to loan this summer because everyone is USING THEM.
  • More than a dozen volunteers committed to helping with walk and bike efforts—including this spring’s SUPER volunteers: JAN, LUCY, and KELLIE.  THANK YOU!
  • More than 36 schools and 9,000 students and staff participated in May Bike and Walk to School Day events. Some highlights:
    • The first district group bicycle ride EVER!-- the Let’s Roll MPS with 150 bikers and groups from Bethune, Whittier, Nellie Stone Johnson, Pillsbury, and Transition Plus.
    • More than 150 kids walking and biking to Hiawatha/Howe. Hiawatha also held a successful 2nd annual Bike rodeo on May 20 with more than 30 kids participating.  They learned about bike safety, went through an elaborate obstacle course, had tune ups and helmet checks, and EVERY participant got a light, or a gift card to one on one bike studio.  Thank you to Hiawatha parents for this event. 
    • Staff enthusiasm for walk and bike day grew exponentially as we welcomed our new staff wellness person, Lindsay Biller. The staff winners of the walk/bike day staff prizes were Sharon Cormany, Patty Kendall, and Matthew Larkey.
    • Council Member Lisa Bender greeted walkers and bikers at Whittier and then in the afternoon, Mr. Sanville, and kids and parents joined the Let’s Roll.
    • Transition Plus added a bike ride to its awesome maintenance and care of the MPS fleet bicycles and Edison stepped up to help get the Lucy Laney and Northeast Middle School fleets in order this spring.


And inspiring dreams f0r 2016-2017

  • Pillsbury Pedal Power presented at not one but two national conferences and continues to inspire and encourage us to dream big!
  • Wellstone has brought the bike club back—and has us dreaming of student bike leaders, equity, and sustainability for next year.
  • Seward and the Cedar-Riverside rides also has us dreaming and planning for next year.
  • 80 students, staff, and exchange student and teachers from South High took a 15 mile, day-long  bicycle trip—and inspired us with the potential of student leadership.


2016-2017 | Mark Your School Calendars  |  Save the Dates for Walk & Bike to School Days

October 5, 2016: Fall MPS Walk & Bike to School Day

February 1, 2017: Winter Walk Day

May 10, 2017: Spring MPS Bike & Walk to School Day: (part of MPS Wellness Week May 8-12, 2017)


(Note that we follow the national/international calendar with International Walk to School Day in the Fall and National Bike to School Day in the Spring and Canada+ for Winter Walk Day in February.)


FREE Fun | SLOW Roll Twin Cities  |  Group bicycle rides  |  Thursday evenings

Slow Roll Twin Cities is a project of the Cultural Wellness and supported by the collaborative effort of the Twin Cities Bicycle Advocacy community. Slow Roll aims to challenge negative perceptions of the city and foster economic revitalization, community peace through social bike rides that connect residents to their communities. Slow Roll TC is a group bicycle ride that meets every Thursday night on a North Minneapolis, South Minneapolis, St. Paul rotation.  It is part of a national network of community rides. Learn more


FREE Fun | OPEN STREETS  |  All summer long | walk ~bike ~ dance ~ connect

For the past six years, streets in Minneapolis have transformed to allow residents to experience their city in a whole new way — by bike, by skateboard, however they please. We call this Open Streets Minneapolisand it has grown from one event in 2011 to eight events all across the city in 2016!

·         Downtown: Sunday, July 10th, 2016

·         East Lake: Sunday, July 24th, 2016

·         Northeast: Sunday, August 7th, 2016

·         Franklin: Sunday, August 21st, 2016

·         West Broadway: Saturday, September 10th, 2016

·         Nicollet: Sunday, September 18th, 2016

·         University of MN: Saturday, October 1st, 2016



FREE Bicycle fix-it 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/


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.