This spring, Bicycling Magazine named Minneapolis the number one bike-friendly city in the United States surpassing the likes of Portland and Boulder. While not surprised, the Skyway My Way team was curious as to what makes Minneapolis such a great biking city. Looking for bike culture, we did what anyone else would do and followed some bike messengers to see where they hang out…and, aside from Jimmy Johns, they seemed to gravitate toward One On One Bicycle Studio at 117 Washington Ave N.
One On One Bicycle Studio
To be honest, we felt a little like we were pulling up to Whiskey Junction riding Vespas. Like Harleys, everyone in the One On One cafe had awesome Surly, Bianchi, Spot and Maverick steeds parked in back. The patrons of One On One are Minneapolis’ vanguard, the biking elite. They have no need to rent a NiceRide. Along with their racing bikes, they have customized bikes built for commuting–with studded tires for icy winter roads!
Putting our self consciousness aside, we walked in and were welcomed by a friendly guy behind the counter. Before sitting down to lunch, we admired the cool art posters hanging on the walls and browsed the diverse array of bikes in the middle of the shop. As we were looking, none other than the Godfather of the Minneapolis bike scene, the proprietor Gene Oberpriller, walked over and said hello.
We talked a little about the bikes and then asked him what he thought of NiceRide. While supportive, he said a lot of tax payer money went to fund it that could have been spent filling pot holes or finishing the bike lanes along 1st Ave, for example. But, it was clear NiceRide wasn’t for him or his customers, as they’ve got their own bikes.
In the end, I think what Bicycling Magazine sees in Minneapolis is a great diversity of people riding bikes on pretty good infrastructure. We’ve got community leaders like Gene Oberprilller that create and cultivate an ardent bike culture that enables a service like NiceRide to come in and take root allowing the novices like us to jump on a bike and go for a ride.
So, if you ride your own bike, there’s parking in the alley behind One On One. If you want to buy a bike, One One One has some of the coolest. If you just want to eat, the cafe has fresh soups and sandwiches made daily, A Baker’s Wife pastries, and B&W coffee from NE. Oh, and before you go you have to check out the graveyard or “bike museum” in the basement.
Chicken Chipotle soup
1/2 Turkey sandwich
B&W iced coffee from NE Minneapolis
Distance & Time
5 min. leisurely ride – .6 miles from “3rd & 5th Street” to “Washington & 2nd Ave N”
1 min. walk – 200 feet walk to One On One
6 min. to get there
30 min. to eat plus 18 minutes looking at cool art, bikes and the bike graveyard
6 min. ride back
$5 for the NiceRide
$10 for soup, sandwich and iced coffee
Stay tuned for next week’s Escape from the Skyway.
Click here for last week’s trip to the Sculpture Garden.