Brainerd Walks and Wheels Around Gregory Park
Walk. Ride. Skate. And Hula-hoop around Brainerd. All gathered at Gregory Park in Brainerd Thursday for the 2nd annual Walk and Wheels night.
Walkable Bikeable Committee cochairman, Ed Shaw says, “We’ve just left two bike rides, a three or four mile and a half mile; and a walk of a few blocks around the neighborhood. And you got some sponsor booths and activities going on while the bikes and the walkers are out.”
The cyclists and skaters say it’s important for cities to create space for different outdoor recreations.
Baxter cyclist, Ray Griffin says, “We have a local group of cyclists that’s been pretty active in lobbying the community that make the cities more bike friendly. And Brainerd has been stepping up to the plate, developed some nice signed bike routes and making maps and making things more friendly for cyclists. I thought I’d come out and support it.”
Nila Patrick, Lakes Area Skate Plaza Coordinator, says, “They just work together beautifully with the bike kids and the skateboard kids and both boys and girls. But as you see here tonight with very little encouragement we ended up with 40 kids here tonight that all they want to do is skate.”
Some of the attendees believe that by expanding these outdoor sports it will benefit the community.
Shaw says, “It helps for economic development. If you look at cities that are doing well, thieving economically, people are outside. They’re out of their cars, they’re exercising, they’re enjoying themselves. We make this a place where people want to be our economy will thrive.”
Patrick says, “They have no place to skate. We don’t want them on the steps on the bank and we don’t want them running into our stores so we created an ordinance downtown.”
The cyclists say Brainerd is moving in the right direction and want to see it continue to grow.
Griffin says, “Let’s keep it going now. I’d like to see a bit more and more of bike friendly communities. And working together with the surrounding communities and counties as well.”
Shaw says, “It’s a lot of fun. This area has great outdoor recreation and it’s good to take advantage of it.”
Brainerd Mayor James Wallin pointed out increasing the number of cyclists on the road will decrease pollution.