July 1, 2016 by
Stephanie Schultz is a development and marketing specialist at Cycles for Change, an organization focused on build a diverse and empowered community of bicyclists.
A fleet of bicycles rolls beside me through St. Paul, Minnesota’s Summit-University neighborhood as residents step outside to watch the spectacle. We are 15 years old and 50 years old. We come from the West Coast, East Coast and everywhere in between. We are laughing, chatting, rolling, singing, popping wheelies and gliding through the rain-puddled streets. Some of us know these St. Paul sights like the back of our brake pads. Some are seeing the Mississippi River for the first time. Spectators wonder what’s going on. A few dance with their kids to music blasting from the “sound bike” in the middle of our pack. Everyone comes together in this community.
I saw this scene unfold from my bike while participating in the Slow Roll Twin Cities 2016 season kick-off ride. The ride was part of the Youth Bike Summit, hosted by my organization Cycles for Change; it took place in in St. Paul in May. With riders from across the country in town for the conference, plus a herd of local bicyclists, our roll had over 300 participants who toured the neighborhoods of St. Paul.
Founded in Detroit in 2010, Slow Roll is a fun, safe and inclusive bike ride for people of all ages and skill levels. But beyond being a group bike ride, Slow Roll is a movement. The goal of Slow Roll Twin Cities is to highlight the amazing places where we live and to bring our communities together for a weekly group ride.