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Walk and Wheel Night to promote outdoor activity

It’s time to pull those dusty bicycles out of the garage.

The second annual Walk and Wheel Night is coming up May 15. It’s a chance to get to know the pedestrian-friendly areas of the community, as well as interact with the people in the neighborhood, organizers say.

“Most of Brainerd was built before cars. It was built with walking and biking in mind to get around. It’s almost like we’re going back to how these neighborhoods were built,” said Ed Shaw, a member of the Brainerd Bikeable Walkable Committee, the group organizing the 6 p.m. event.

The committee, a group of volunteers working to improve walking, biking and skateboarding accessibility in the community, was appointed by the Brainerd City Council.

Holding the Walk and Wheel Night is part of working toward its mission.

At the event, there will be two group rides for bicyclists, one for walkers and a place for skateboarders to set up.

One of the bike groups will go on a short ride around north Brainerd. A second group for bicyclists will span about four miles around downtown and beyond. A group of walkers will be led around the park area.

All groups will be led by a Brainerd City Council member.

Skateboarders will be able to use ramps, which will be set up in the park.

The event will have a short presentation by both Mayor James Wallin, as well as members of the Brainerd Bikeable Walkable Committee.

There will be booths in the park by Trailblazer Bikes, Easy Riders and Acceleration Sports and Fitness. Each store will also have an item to raffle off.

Also in the park will be: face painting, hula hoop lessons, henna and live music by Brendan Flynn.

“It’s really for the community to get together and have a fun time,” said Bikeable Walkable Committee member Jessica Bleichner.

The committee hopes about 100 people come out for the event, which coincides with National Bike Month.

“There’s a lot of potential to get people out there that don’t realize what we have in Brainerd,” Shaw said.

Brainerd has the “perfect layout” for biking and walking, he said.

“It’s not hilly and it’s not full of racing cars,” he said. “Until recently, we haven’t taken advantage of it.”

As the Bikeable Walkable Committee works to implement the council’s strategic plan of being more pedestrian friendly, it is events like the Walk and Wheel Night that will help to get the word out, organizers say.

JESSIE PERRINE may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at