Wrapping Up The Summer Bucket List

Share   |  Posted Aug. 31, 2015 by Colleen McFarlane

This is a guest post written by Colleen McFarlane, a writer in Minneapolis.

When summer first hits the Twin Cities, the long warm days seem endless. The months of June and July feel full of possibility but when the last couple weeks of August hit, the days start going by fast. Sometimes all of the fun plans we had become lost in busy schedules, travel, and work obligations. As the days get shorter suddenly that novel you meant to read, the beach you meant to relax on, and the local museum you planned to visit are still waiting to be checked off of the 'To Do' list. Though it’s nearing the end of the summer, the good news is it’s not the end of bike season!  With so many Nice Ride locations there are even more options for end of summer exploration. Your favorite activities are even more enjoyable when you take life by the handlebars and cruise on two wheels. On Nice Ride’s Explore by Bike page you can find everything from suggestions for a beer tour to a tour guide full of Prince-inspired destinations. These tours and the impending end of summer inspired me to create my own end of summer bucket list using Nice Ride. I live in the Minneapolis Uptown/Whittier area, and had a blast exploring my own backyard. With Nice Ride, you too can map out a day of favorite destinations in your favorite neighborhoods, all while soaking in the last bit of sun. 


Everyone takes advantage of the summer months to spend time vacationing and traveling, so it can be hard to stay up to date with your closest friends. My first stop was a coffee shop, to catch up with my companion for the day and treat myself to an iced beverage. Whether you grab a seat or go for a walk, making time for some one on one conversation is a great way to break up the day. Being so close to Uptown, there are dozens of shops providing quality coffee and a cozy mood. Wherever your favorite place is, meet a friend you haven’t seen in a while to chat. With Nice Ride, you’re a short ride away from a memorable afternoon. 

Living in Minnesota it’s totally necessary to get some lake time in when you can this summer. We often think we have to ‘get away’ to a cabin or campground to appreciate nature but we are lucky enough to find it here in the city as well! Sometimes it can be difficult to find time between busy schedules to read a good book, but an afternoon at the beach will make a perfect day slow down. Nice Ride has stations near Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, and Lake of the Isles, among others. On my ride around the lake it felt so exhilarating to be a part of all of the activity going on: dog walkers, joggers, and loungers all made for excellent people watching. Treat yourself to a day at the lake and you will go back to your work, family, and social life energized and inspired. Whether you are looking for a lazy afternoon or an active one, hop on a Nice Ride and head outdoors! 


There are not enough days in the year to enjoy a meal outside. When was the last time you took a lunch break out on a sunny patio? From the overheard conversations to the fresh summer salads there is no better way to brighten up your day. Too busy with work? Take your laptop outside and get some work done. After work, hit up a favorite happy hour for a fun way to unwind. In the Twin Cities, you don’t even need to visit a restaurant to get the outdoor dining experience. With more co-ops and farmers markets than ever, you’re a Nice Ride away from a healthy picnic in the park. Feeling more adventurous? Check out a food truck for instant deliciousness. However you choose to do it, make sure you make time for at least one more outdoor meal this summer. 


Each season I vow to spend a day taking in the art collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I wasn’t too surprised to find out they had a Nice Ride station right by the museum. What made the trip even more pleasant was the short, green, and landscaped walk from my Nice Ride to the museum through the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The highlight of all of my Nice Ride adventures are the little pockets of the city I get to uncover for the first time despite living in the neighborhood for years. Using Nice Ride is a unique experience in which you can create your own tour and notice new things along the way. Though I appreciated the art I got to see in the museum, I found that the real art was in the journey to and from my destinations. Whether cruising down Eat Street or the Midtown Greenway, the sense of community and excitement I experienced was more priceless than any painting. Don’t let the feeling of a summer wind-down discourage you from completing your bucket-list-- and if you have no bucket list to begin with, Nice Ride will help you compose one along the way. 

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From the FAQ

How long can I take a bike out?

Bike sharing is designed for short trips. Trips over 30 minutes will incur usage fees. You can take a bike out for a maximum of 24 hours. After that time, the bike will be considered lost and a replacement fee will be charged to your credit card.