Strange Structures On The Greenway

Share   |  Posted Jun. 17, 2014 by Emily Wade

On a rainy Thursday in Minneapolis I sat down with Amy Bergquist, a human rights advocate, Minneapolis resident, and dedicated Nice Ride member.  As we sipped warm drinks in a corner of Caribou, Amy shared her love of our local bike share system with me.


Strange structures on the greenway

Amy first encountered Nice Ride stations while out for a run on the Hiawatha trail near the Sabo bridge.  An avid explorer, Amy seeks out new routes and neighborhoods, snapping a photo on every run she takes to memorialize the city around her.  On the first day of June in 2010, Amy took a shot of some bizarre metal structures lined up in rows just on the other side of the path.  Those bizarre structures turned out to be Nice Ride stations.  “I didn’t know it was Nice Ride at the time,” Amy tells me.  “I remember thinking this is really bizarre and I took a picture of them.”

As Nice Ride staff began installing the stations, Amy quickly realized what they were.  With a new station near her downtown apartment her excitement grew.  For Amy, Nice Ride is a transportation staple and a source of local pride.  “I was proud Minneapolis had it before D.C. did,” she tells me with a laugh and toss of her hair.

Amy’s rides

Now Amy takes a Nice Ride to and from work every day and uses the bikes for other trips whenever possible.  Amy even  incorporated Nice Ride into her running routine.  Recovering from an injury, Amy runs as far as she can and then hops on a Nice Ride to finish her route and go home.  “If I can only run two miles, there’s limited scenery,” she says, “but if I can run two miles out and then bike from there it’s much nicer.”

Just more fun

With three bikes of her own, Amy is no stranger to cycling.  But when it comes to commuting, she would rather take Nice Ride than any of her own bikes.  “It’s more fun!”  Amy explains.  “I have the matching helmet and I have a raincoat that is in the same Nice Ride colors so I feel like I’m a little bit of a fashionista,” she says smiling.

There’s also a practical side to Amy’s Nice Ride membership.  Rather than fiddling with a lock or carting her bike from the street to her office or apartment, she saves time by using her Nice Ride member key.  Amy also enjoys the flexibility Nice Ride affords her.  Without having to take her bike with her throughout the day, Amy catches rides with friends and takes the bus to complement her Nice Ride use.

At the end of the day, though, it all comes back to fun.  Amy is working on rounding up some co-workers to take Nice Rides to the Izzy’s Ice Cream Minneapolis location as an office excursion.  “There’s no good ice cream downtown,” she insists, “but Izzy’s isn’t that far away.”  Especially not with a Nice Ride.

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Who can use Nice Ride?

Nice Ride is open to anyone 18 years of age or older.