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Photo album: Northfield Area Bike Initiative community meeting (Soup & Cycles)

Suzie NakasianLocal bicycling advocates got together last night at the Weitz Center for Soup and Cycles, billed as

“an information gathering and brainstorm for representatives of Northfield area bike clubs and bike-interested groups, community leaders and educators”

The text of Suzie Nakasian’s email invitation is below, along with her follow-up summary.

Play the large slideshow of my 62 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Greetings!

There’s been an exciting acceleration of bike-related activity in and around Northfield over the last few years— clubs, groups, rides, new businesses, and a full calendar of bike races, as well as the City’s Complete Streets Policy, Safe Routes to School Plan and regional collaboration on the Mill Towns Trail and other projects— all signaling Northfield’s potential to become a leading bike town and regional biking destination.

With so much happening on so many fronts, it would be beneficial to gather representatives of local bike groups, and bike-interested community leaders and educators, to share information and explore how we might work together on projects relating to bike education, infrastructure and bike/recreational tourism.

I am writing to invite you to Soup and Cycles, a meeting of representatives of Northfield area bike groups and stakeholders, Thursday, November 14, 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Carleton’s Weitz Center for Creativity. An invitation follows below. I hope you can attend. Representation from each of our area schools will be invaluable to our discussion of potential programs for area youth. The names included in the distribution list for this email were suggested to me by local bike leaders, and I encourage you to review that list, and consider forwarding this email invitation to teachers, PTO leaders and students who are interested in working to create a bike friendly Northfield.

So that we can prepare the right amount of soup, please RSVP by Tuesday, November 12 with a reply email to me at Suzienakasian@gmail.com. Thank you.

Looking forward,

Suzie Nakasian

507-301-6756

p.s. See information on the newest addition to Northfield’s bike event calendar, this weekend’s 1st Annual Minnesota State Gravel Road Racing Championship.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Weitz Center for Creativity, Larson Room, 2nd Floor, Carleton College

A light dinner of soup and salad will be provided courtesy of Rice County Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and Tandem Bagels.

Program:

5:00pm  Soup and socializing
5:30pm  Welcome and introductions
6:00pm  Small group discussions:

Bike Education: ideas for promoting bike safety & share the road principles

Infrastructure: needs relating to on-road, off-road trails and other bike amenities, and

Recreational Tourism: support for bike races and events, and recreational tourism

7:00pm  Reports from groups: identified needs, goals and strategies

7:30pm  Next steps: communication, leadership and follow-up

This meeting will adjourn by 8pm, in time to head to the GiveMN celebration at The Grand.

Participation is open to community members who are interested in helping to create a bike friendly Northfield.

RSVP Requested: Please reply to suzienakasian@gmail.com before the end of the day on Tuesday, November 12 so that we can get a soup count. Thank you.

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Thanks to everyone who participated in last night’s Soup and Cycles bike gathering at the Weitz Center! Over 70 people participated including new and lifelong residents, business owners, cycling club members, teachers, and trail and bike enthusiasts from a mix of generations!  More than a dozen additional contacts could not attend but expressed an interest in participating as the project moves forward.

Our 3 brainstorming sessions yielded a rich trove of ideas relating to infrastructure, bike education and recreational tourism —-look for a summary of those ideas to follow on Monday.  Some projects are already getting underway, and we have the start of an excellent Steering Committee in a core group that has stepped forward . If you are interested to join that group, please let me know.

With so many promising ideas – much help is needed.  So please review the discussion notes when you receive them and let me know how you might want to participate. We will be working to set up a website and communication structure to facilitate that work, and to encourage a constellation of related projects which, together, will build a more bike friendly community.

Thank you for your interest and support of this initiative! Look for an email to follow on Monday.

With every best wish,
Suzie Nakasian
507-301-6756

p.s. A Facebook page is in the works. If you took photos at last night’s event, please forward them to me to post on that site once its launched.