France has its Tour de France. Australia, the Tour Down Under. Now you can break away from the pack and join The Minneapolis Foundation and Nice Ride Minnesota for the #TourDeNice — a bike sharing challenge!
On Saturday, July 9, people all over Minneapolis-St. Paul can raise money to support community needs simply by hopping on a Nice Ride bike. Riders 18 and up — from first-time Nice Ride users to seasoned cyclists — are all encouraged to participate in this community-wide event.
The #TourDeNice will kick off in downtown Minneapolis, where a dozen cyclists representing local charities will ride in a challenge designed around the Nice Ride network. These nonprofit riders will start and finish at Gold Medal Park, competing to see who can visit the most Nice Ride stations between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Simultaneously, for every Nice Ride trip taken by anyone, anywhere in Minneapolis-St. Paul on July 9, The Minneapolis Foundation will donate $1 (up to $5,000) to a “winner’s pot.” The winner’s pot will be divided between the top three nonprofit riders in the Tour and will be donated to the organizations they represent.
“Minneapolis is a great bike city and a great city for philanthropy,” said R.T. Rybak, The Minneapolis Foundation’s President and CEO. “We are combining those two parts of Minneapolis to have fun while giving back.”
Rybak explains the #TourDeNice and tours some of his favorite bikeways in this short video:
“The cyclists participating in the nonprofit challenge are riding in support of a variety of great local causes,” said Nice Ride spokesman Ian Reed. “People all over the Twin Cities can support them simply by hopping on a Nice Ride bike – so start pedaling!”
#TourDeNice Nonprofit Riders
Angel Foundation provides emergency financial assistance, education and support for adults with cancer and their families. Its Emergency Financial Assistance program provides monetary support to low-income adults for non-medical expenses such as housing, food, gas, and utilities. Its Facing Cancer Together program helps families with children ages 5-18 facing a parental cancer diagnosis.
Rider Andrew Rosen is the President of Angel Foundation. While he’d rather be cycling, Andrew spends most of his free time driving his 3 kids around the Twin Cities in support of their athletic interests.
Asian Media Access
Asian Media Access (AMA) is a comprehensive community media arts education agency supporting creative solutions for problems facing the Asian American & Pacific Islander community through education, production, information technology, and community organizing.
William, the organization’s Multimedia Coordinator, is also a cyclist. He is co-founder of a fixed-gear-centric cycling group in Shanghai, China (Ride On Shanghai) and is familiar with fast-paced races through the city, which he may not always win.
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
Beacon is a collaborative of more than 85 Twin Cities congregations committed to ending homelessness through housing, shelter, and advocacy. Beacon has built or rehabbed 509 affordable apartments and town homes at 17 properties. Beacon is currently developing nearly 300 new homes, including apartments for homeless youth in Saint Paul and Edina. Most include on-site supportive services to help people transition from homelessness to stability. Through the Families Moving Forward program, congregations provide emergency shelter, hospitality, and supportive services to 75 families a year who are experiencing homelessness.
Davis raises funds to end homelessness, writing grants at Beacon. He also spends the night at his church when the congregation hosts families as part of the Families Moving Forward shelter. Davis lives in Minneapolis and has three bicycles: one for hauling children and groceries, one for rain or snow, and a third that can go a bit faster. The #TourDeNice is Davis’ first bicycle race.
Cultural Wellness Center
Founded in 1996, the Cultural Wellness Center is a community-based cultural knowledge-production organization. It is about people, from people, and for people. The Center partners with organizations and people within communities, focusing on culture as an asset to develop models to solve problems and create lasting solutions. Its People’s Theory of Sickness is that individualism, loss of culture, and loss of community makes you sick. In many cases, this is at the core of the problems faced by people in challenged communities. The Center’s work is to unleash the power of citizens to heal themselves and to build community. Inside every human being there is a spark. The Center ignites the spark.
Anthony is a self-described accidental bike advocate and Chief Volunteer for the organization that his mother founded 20 years ago. He is an avid cyclist and works to create opportunities for communities to engage the outdoors as Adventures Director for the Loppet Foundation.
Free Bikes 4 Kidz
Free Bikes 4 Kidz is a nonprofit geared toward helping all kids ride into a happier, healthier childhood by providing bikes to those most in need. The organization collects used bicycles, organizes thousands of volunteers to clean and refurbish them, then gives them all away through a network of community partners and schools. Free Bikes 4 Kidz has given away more than 32,000 bikes in eight years.
Travis, one of the organization’s champion volunteers, works for Maple Grove Cycling.
Hennepin Health Foundation
Hennepin Health Foundation is a nonprofit supporting the mission of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., which operates Hennepin County Medical Center and neighborhood clinics throughout the Minneapolis area. Founded in 2009, the foundation connects the generosity of the community to programs impacting patient care and comfort, community health, medical education, and clinical research.
Lydia Karch is the Healthy Communities Program Manager for MVNA and Hennepin County Medical Center. She supports a team of home visiting Community Health Workers addressing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the community. She rides her bike to work every day, rain or shine!
MacPhail Center for Music
The music-inspired bike mounts in front of MacPhail Center for Music are a nod to the incredible cycling culture that thrives in Minneapolis. Each year, MacPhail, the largest community music school in the nation, serves 15,000 community members of all ages and abilities.
Even the whirring of bicycle tires on pavement is music to the ears of MacPhail Events Manager Max Erickson, an avid cyclist and Nice Ride enthusiast. Max has taken more than 600 trips and cycled more than 500 miles on Nice Ride bikes!
Metro Meals on Wheels
Metro Meals on Wheels is the association of 32 Meals on Wheels programs in the Twin Cities metro area. With its program partners, Metro Meals on Wheels leads the effort to make sure people in our community receive the nutritious meals and the human connection they need to help them live independently. Each day, Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver nutritious meals and friendly visits to seniors and individuals with disabilities throughout the Twin Cities.
Grant Boelter is the Communications Manager at Metro Meals on Wheels. In his spare time, he enjoys getting around Minneapolis by bicycle.
NAMI Minnesota (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults living with mental illnesses and their families. NAMI Minnesota provides education, support, and advocacy to eliminate the pervasive stigma of mental illnesses, effect positive changes in the mental health system, and increase public and professional understanding of mental illnesses.
Emily is the Special Events Coordinator at NAMI Minnesota, where she works on a wide range of events, including the NAMIWalk at Minnehaha Park each September. When she’s not at work, Emily can be found riding her bike with friends and racing at the NSC Velodrome in Blaine.
Prepare + Prosper
Prepare + Prosper (P+P) helps people build brighter financial futures through free tax preparation, financial services, and financial coaching. Each year, P+P prepares taxes for more than 13,000 people, assists 1,200 individuals in saving $1.9 million, and helps people reach their financial goals.
Katy Schultz, P+P’s Tax Services Manager, knows and lives what it takes to prepare 13,000 people’s taxes in an accurate and timely way. In addition to managing seasonal tax staff and answering all kinds of questions about taxes, Katy geeks out over camping, soccer, puzzles, and (of course) biking.
Think Small is dedicated to making sure all children in Minnesota receive the best care and education possible during their crucial early years. The organization is working to improve the early learning landscape so all families can afford and access high-quality child care that incorporates kindergarten-readiness best practices and gets the most vulnerable children on track for success in school and life.
Marie Huey is Think Small’s Civic Engagement Specialist. Once, she thought about biking the entire Grand Rounds bike trail. Instead, she biked to Izzy’s for an ice cream treat.