Orange: A New Outreach Effort from Nice Ride Minnesota

Share   |  Posted Jul. 21, 2014 by Paul Stucker

Nice Ride Minnesota is pleased to announce the launch of its newest initiative: the Nice Ride Neighborhood Program. Utilizing the same orange bikes that hit the streets in Bemidji last month, this pilot program will be working to provide a resource for creating 140 new cyclists in the neighborhoods of North Minneapolis and Frogtown/East St. Paul. All of the orange Neighborhood bikes have been committed to participants for 2014 and we’ll have more opportunities to participate in the program next year.

Orange Bike

By partnering with local organizations in each neighborhood, Nice Ride will offer program participants a four-month cycling experience. This begins with an orientation, an opportunity to get a group of people together that are excited about trying something new and making a positive change to a more active lifestyle. There, participants learn about the program, the bikes, some basic safety tips, and take a short, fun ride before heading homes with their bikes.

Our connecting partners in St. Paul (the organizations helping to identify program participants) are Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, Hmong American Partnership, Model Cities, St. Paul Public Housing, and Vietnamese Social Services. In Minneapolis, we’re working with Emerge, Minneapolis Urban League, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, and Redeemer Center for Life.

After orientation, the Neighborhood Program will be present at a series of six community events. Partnering with existing events like Rondo Days, Fit 4 Fun, and local farmers markets, these events will be organized in partnership with the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota. Each event will bring together riders for food, music, and a family-paced ride, providing an opportunity to share stories and connect with an even larger community of Neighborhood Program participants.

Participants will also be introduced to two partnering community bicycle shops, Venture North and Cycles for Change, on the North Side and St. Paul respectively. Orange bikes can be taken to the shop for free maintenance and both offer a variety of educational opportunities like Riding in Traffic classes and Open Shop nights.

While all the orange Neighborhood bikes have been committed to participants for 2014, we’re sure to learn a lot about how we can shape this program to be even more successful in the future and serve another round of participants in 2015. For now, keep your eyes peeled for those shiny new orange bikes cruising around the Twin Cities, and be ready to ring your bell in support of a new cyclist in our community.

The Neighborhood Program is made possible through funding from the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

10 Previous comments:

(1) On July 22, 2014, Clara sharp () said:
I heard about this project listening to kmoj radio station today. I think it's sad that poor people of color in north Minneapolis were not made more aware of this project. I learned that Natalie Johnson lee had an orange bike and she is not one whom I'd consider poor black woman. I see that class plays a role in how you determine who is part of your program. Very disappointed but not surprised.
(2) On July 24, 2014, Clinton Collins () said:
Who cares if Natalie Johnson Lee has a bike! You sound like a very bitter person.
(3) On July 28, 2014, Vienna () said:
Equity does not mean only giving bikes to poor people or only to people of color. Equity includes community leaders riding bikes to lead others to do so. The point is to get many people in North to ride bikes.

What is sad is when people try to do good and others complain about how they did it wrong. This is a pilot. It's an attempt to figure out how to create new cyclists. You want a program that is run your way that you think will do that better, then go out and start it.
(4) On August 7, 2014, Kevin () said:
I think it is unhelpful and potentially harmful for a private individual to be named in these comments by someone other than themselves to the extent they may be personally identified. I would ask that Nice Ride, MN remove Clara's and Clinton's comments for that reason. Or, at least edit the name out so no one is specifically identified.

Unfortunately, Clara, you didn't hear about the orange bike program before all the bikes were distributed this year. However, as Vienna said, this is a pilot program. Perhaps your awareness will lead you to spread the word to others and apply if this program is available in 2015.
(5) On August 8, 2014, MNMamacita () said:
I'm very excited to hear about the attempt to widen the area for Nice Ride bikes. I'm on the very far east side of St. Paul, I subscribed to Nice Ride hoping that it would expand inline with St. Paul Light Rail. Unfortunately we lost the Metro University Nice Ride bikes.
(6) On August 8, 2014, East Side Mom () said:
Great! I really hope this helps develop more bikers and biking solutions on the East Side of town (as well as the others). Both my bus commute & workout are roughly an hour. I would LOVE to overlap some of my workout & commute, I believe Nice Ride membership helps me do that.
(7) On August 13, 2014, sherri () said:
hey let's get healthy by any means neccesary and keep our ears to the ground. i heard about nice ride and was at an orintation where we could not get people to stop and get the free 1 year membership. let's do better as a community to inform others about what we know.
i have a friend who has a orange bike and never said a word about it to my circle of friends. again let's do better
(8) On August 13, 2014, Kimberly () said:
I heard about the Nice Ride program froma schoolmate at Summit Academy. I don't think it was aiming toward any particular group of people... I am not wealthy but I got a bike. The program has taught me more rules of the "bikers road" and it has allowed me to get out to mingle with others and get back ito shape as well. I think the community needs to utilize their community centers more. By doing this you will become better informed of programs that are being started. You can also initiate new programs that you think others in the community can benefit from. Be PROACTIVE AND NOT REACTIVE!!!
(9) On July 27, 2015, Clara () said:
Thank you Kevin. I will certainly spread the word. I appreciate your thoughtful input. Very well said.
(10) On September 29, 2015, Kevin () said:
What is the advantage of subscribing to nice ride vs. having your own bike? I'm not quite sure why you'd rent a big heavy bike when you could pick up a nice used bike and a good lock and not worry about payments.

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Bike fitting:

Nice Ride bikes are all one size and have been designed to accommodate riders between 5'0" and 6'6" in height. The seat height is easily adjustable. Our bikes are built for quick trips in the city by people wearing regular clothes and carrying ordinary stuff.