Bike Jamboree Recap

On the 18th, we hosted our third Plains InsideOUT event, the Bike Jamboree. The event, which was put on in partnership with Great Northern Bicycle Co. and the FM Community Bike Workshop, wasn’t just a bunch of fun activities with bikes. It also demonstrated that art and transportation are vehicles (pun intended) for stitching a city together into a healthier, more vibrant place to live.

The festivities kicked off with a few art-making activities themed around bikes. We made spoke cards, decorated bikes, and worked together in creating a big, bike-able canvas:

We also had some tasty treats, thanks to The Baking Cup:

Later in the evening, about two dozen of us hopped on our bikes to take a public art tour through downtown. Public art is becoming a part of the fabric of downtown Fargo thanks especially to folks like Paul Ide, whose murals were a backbone of the tour. Ide, who we’ve also been working with through the Hip Hop Don’t Stop events, was gracious enough to join us and provide background on his work. We had a lively discussion about commercial art at the Sunny Brook whiskey mural and also debated the placement of the Ten Commandments near the Civic Center and Fargo Public Library. Megan Johnston, our new curator, bravely rode along to lead discussion despite being new to Fargo streets and not having ridden a bike in a while. We ended the ride at the Red Raven Espresso Parlor, where we were treated to lemonade and music by We. The bike tour was a hit. We’ll try doing it again before the end of the summer and we’re also working on a Foursquare list of public art and street art in downtown for those who’d like to check them out themselves.

PAM curator (center) discusses the Sunny Brook Whiskey mural at 320 5th St N.

The mural by Paul Ide and JAWSH at Roberts Street Studio.

As dark settled in, Tom from Great Northern fired up the Mighty Quinn, a five-person bicycle, for a showing of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure in the Museum parking lot. About 40 people biked in to watch. And, while it’s a silly movie, showing Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure in this way makes a few serious points. First, it’s possible for entertainment like movies to be enjoyed off the grid. And second, bikes can do more than get us from one place to another. They can literally be an engine for a more sustainable way of life.

It was a wonderful event. Thanks to all who came, and thanks to our hard-working partners at the Bike Workshop and Great Northern. Big, big thanks to our sponsors at Gate City Bank, Milestones Photography, and Spicy Pie for helping to make this a free event. Special thanks to Denise Knudson at DK Custom Framing for leading the bike tour, to Shane Reetz from Fitz and Flick for the photos of the bike tour and the movie (view more at Shane’s Facebook page here), and Britta Trygstad (view more photos on her blog here) from Milestones for photos at the art-making activities.