Photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis
Bicycling around Minneapolis, MN, is transcendent and quasi-spiritual in just about any season, but the best of all is fall, when temps cool comfortably and the abundance of trees throughout the city turn orange and gold. An autumn ride around Lakes Calhoun or Harriet or Isles is a height of Minneapolitan cycling. Thanks to Minneapolis’s robust infrastructure – well-maintained paths and well-marked bike lanes abound – it’s possible to get just about anywhere by bicycle, no matter the season.
Thanks to Minneapolis' robust infrastructure—well-maintained paths and well-marked bike lanes abound—it's possible to get just about anywhere by bicycle, no matter the season. And there's plenty of bike stuff to see: from the Martin Olav Sabo cable-stayed suspension bridge above Hiawatha Avenue, to the Midtown Greenway between St. Paul and South Minneapolis, to the alternative-traffic-only Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls. It's enough to inspire poetry (or a "baiku").
If your legs are burnt-out, you can bring your ride onto the public transpo: Buses and the Light Rail have bike carriers. Minneapolis also has Nice Ride, an affordable, high-quality bike-sharing program available April–November, perfect for spontaneous bike gangs and weekend outings.
Don't be surprised if you see Mayor R.T. Rybak out for a ride on Hennepin. Our silver fox of a leader is a roadie par excellence.
ARTCRANK (April, location TBD) A bike-poster show, created by Charles Youel. Beer-, sweat- and art-soaked. All the icons attend.
Stupor Bowl (February, location TBD) Drunkenly roll around Minneapolis in the heart of winter. Balaclavas, ice beards and brews. A Winter Viking staple.
30 Days of Biking (April) A communal celebration of bicycling. A fitness challenge. A social media extravaganza. Full disclaimer: I’m its co-founder.
Cirque du So Gay (October) A GLBT fall alleycat. Celebrate queer culture with your best pink pants on.
Babes in Bikeland (September) A gals-only late summer alleycat. Our bike chicks ain't playin' around, brah.
Freedom From Pants (July 4) The best ride of the year. We celebrate our freedom by removing our pants – tends to get nude.
No-Hater Rolling Dance Party (September) Bike love and dance love mate in an epic bike-dance party. Shake your toned booty.
Aster Cafe (125 Southeast Main St.) Delicious Main St. eats with a gorgeous downtown view. Try the flat-bread pizza, then see a foreign film at St. Anthony Main.
Bryant Lake Bowl (810 West Lake St.) Hipster central. Bowling, organic delectations, avant-garde concerts. $2 PBR if you walk in with a helmet on.
Muddy Waters (2933 Lyndale Ave. South) Put a little Williamsburg in your Uptown. The brews will hype you up for vintagery.
Peace Coffee (3262 Minnehaha Ave.) Local coffee. Bike-messenger-delivered beans. A caffeine high just the way ya like it.
Grumpy's (1111 South Washington Ave.) Bounteous Washington Avenue bike parking. Delectable comfort food. Best tater tots in the city.
Aloft W Hotel (900 Washington Ave. S) Near the Guthrie Theatre, the Mill District, Gold Medal Park and Grumpy's, with a Nice Ride station right outside.