MacBike and BikeShare

MacBike and BikeShare

Bicycles:  A Sustainable Mode of Transportation!

Bicycles and biking as an alternative mode of transportation is a promising step towards more sustainable cities. The transportation networks on which most people depend are predominantly car-dominated and fossil fuel intensive, without many alternative options. Recognizing a more balanced and multi-modal transportation system is needed to create a more sustainable urban environment, and mass-transit, walking, and biking are all great alternatives.

Bikes are empowering because they are simultaneously able to provide speed, physical exercise, and a form of commuting at a much more affordable price than cars. However, the groundwork to make urban biking safe and easy is still a work in progress. Fortunately, here in the Twin Cities, we have a variety of bike lanes, greenways, and advocacy organizations fighting for more, yet we are still in the beginning stages. Given the growing strength and numbers of bike commuters in bike culture in the Twin Cities and around the world, there is great hope for potential changes, stronger urban bicycle policies and more designated bike lanes!

MacBike is a student-run organization at Macalester College that promotes bicycle-use both on campus and in the greater Twin Cities community. We support bicycling as a fun, sustainable, and socially just form of transportation.

Contact information:  Joe Huber at jhuber1@macalester.edu

BikeShare is a free bike rental program organized by MacBike. Macalester students, staff, and faculty can rent a bike (along with a helmet and lock) at the checkout counter in the Library with a valid Mac ID for three days with one renewal (up to six days total).

There are currently ten bikes in the fleet, with more on the way. Bikes are available in a variety of sizes to fit all different riders. The fleet also includes a Workman cycles tricycle!  There are also Burley Nomad Cargo trailers available to rent by request for hauling groceries, camping gear, or any large items.

Contact information:  Joe Huber at jhuber1@macalester.edu

Ways to get involved:  In MacBike we host organized rides, alley cat races, speakers, and open shop hours for the entire campus.

  • Open Shop is open to anyone who needs help fixing their bike, needs a part, or wants to learn the art of bicycle mechanics – all for FREE!  Every Thursday, 6 – 8 pm and Tuesday, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in the MacBike shop in the basement of Doty.
  • Our weekly meetings are held after Open Shop on Thursdays from 8 – 9 pm in the basement of Doty.

Bike More!

There are a number of ways and reasons to become a more active biker on campus, in the Twin Cities, and wherever your pedals take you!

The Twin Cities have some excellent bike lanes and greenways for fun rides, good exercise, and for commuting purposes.

  • Midtown Greenway – runs west from the Mississippi River and into Uptown
  • Grand Rounds (ring around Lake Nokomis, Calhoun, Lake of the Isles)
  • Mississippi River Greenway
  • Various Bike Lanes as close as Summit Ave and all over the cities

You can rent a map for free from the BikeShare program at the InfoDesk or buy your own new tear and water resistant Twin Cities Bike Map now available at the Highlander and Macalester Bookstore.

Also, Cyclopath is a bicycle map that covers Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding seven-county metro area; on their site anyone can share knowledge or fix problems. Try it out at:  http://cyclopath.org

Twin Cities Organizations/ Helpful Links:

  • Cycles for Change is a volunteer- run nonprofit bike shop and organization that offers a great selection of affordable used bikes. Volunteers are always welcome to help fix old bikes in their mechanics’ shop – and learn some things in the process. They also teach a few EXCO classes, such as the Basic Bike Maintenance and Wheel Building. Check them out at: www.cyclesforchange.org
  • Transit for Livable Communities is a nonprofit organization advocates for mass-transit, walking, and biking as viable alternative transport options in the Twin Cities. (www.tlcminnesota.org)
  • Bike Walk Twin Cities is a federally funded initiative of $21.5 million dollars granted to the Transit for Livable Communities organization to reduce driving in the Twin Cities and increase biking and walking. (http://bikewalktwincities.org)
  • St. Paul Smart Trips is an organization comprised of the former St. Paul and Midway TMO that supports commuting options beyond driving alone, from ride-sharing, walking, biking, and public transportation. (www.smart-trips.org/)
  • Some Local Bike Shops:
    1. Sibley Bike Depot (see above), 712 University Avenue West, St. Paul
    2. The Hub Co-op, 301 Cedar Ave S AND 3020 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis
    3. Grand Performance, 1938 Grand Ave, St. Paul
    4. Express Bikes, 234 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul
    5. Boehm’s Bikes, 1592 Selby Ave, St. Paul
    6. Freewheel Bike, 1812 S 6th St, Minneapolis
    7. Now Bikes and Fitness, 75 N Snelling Ave, St. Paul
  • Minneapolis Critical Mass – Riding to “take back the streets” and to prove that bikes belong on our roads, bikers gather in Loring Park on the last Friday of every month at 5:30 and, en masse, proceed to ride through Minneapolis’s downtown streets. No specific route is necessarily planned and generally the police protect the participating bikers from cars and through intersections. All are welcome!!
  • NiceRide is a bike share program in the Twin Cities which continues to expand its number of hub locations.   Subscriptions can be purchased for periods of 24-hours, 30-days, 1 year, or 1 student year.  Rides are then paid for based on the length of time the bike is used for— any trip under 30 minutes is free!  Find out more about NiceRide at www.niceridemn.org.
  • The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota offers a list of local bicycle advisory committees, which work on developing bike education, future plans, and opportunities for funding. (www.bikemn.org/advocacy/bicycle_advisory_committees)

But We Live in Minnesota!  Isn't it Too Cold to bike??

NO!  Biking can be a year round activity, even in Minnesota!  Here are some sites with helpful winter biking tips and tricks:

HAPPY RIDING!