I’m glad to see our bike tour, now dubbed the “Annual Fridley Bike & Hike” grow every year. This year we had more volunteers, more activities, and more promotion. While the weather didn’t cooperate entirely, everyone who attended had a great time.
Making it Great
As in years past, the city has had no budget for the event, but a volunteer group associated with the Fridley Environmental and Energy Commission stepped up to help coordinate this event.
Since we normally try to have our event coincide with “National Trails Day,” this year we were able to use the American Hiking Society’s fantastic website and resources to help promote our event. We also promoted it through local online resources on Facebook and Nextdoor.
If you live nearby and you’re not part of the Fridley Families Facebook group, you should be! Also, you should be on Nextdoor.com – Fridley police use it diligently. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know your actual neighbors besides on the once-a-year National Night Out.
Also we made promotional flyers and got them out to elementary schools, the library, and some local businesses to help spread the word. One of the key local businesses that we sought out this year was Grandpa’s Ice Cream. We invited them to bring their ice cream trailer down to the Fridley Farmers Market, our final bike ride destination from Riverfront Regional Park on the Mississippi River Trail. Who doesn’t like some ice cream after a bike ride? Personally, it’s the reason that I ride.
Turnout at Riverfront Regional Park was better than it has been in the past. Props go out to our commission liaison Kay who invited a naturalist from the Wargo Nature Center. The naturalist brought a snake, which was a big hit with kids and non-ophidiophobic adults 🙂 Kay also gave out spruce saplings that were supposed to be delivered for Arbor Day, but strangely arrived a month late.
Also props to my fellow commissioner Mark and his wife for organizing two great kids activities – clay wildflower seed starters and pine cone bird feeders. The kids had a great time with these hands-on activities.
Despite a little bit of rain, a hearty few of us were still determined to ride. We rode north on the Mississippi River Trail up to Stevenson Elementary. From there we crossed the train tracks by using the Northstar station tunnel. It takes a while for people and bikes to queue up and use the elevators (lighter bikes can just be carried down the stairs), but I like to show people that the tunnel is well-lit and safe for anyone and everyone to use.
From the station we continued on 61st Ave to the Farmers Market at the Fridley Community Center. We enjoyed ice cream for lunch and I purchased some baklava for dessert later on.
One of the vendors, Tübinger Bakery, actually lives in my neighborhood. The breads looked tasty and delicious and the samples I had were great. So great that I was sadly unable to buy any because they had sold everything they had by the time we arrived!
We learned a lot about what we can do ahead of time next year to better promote our event. Hope to see you out there next year!