Big wheels to dedicate new bike center

File this under climate change, carbon footprints and putting your money where your wheels are.
 
A handful of real big wheels are going to launch a $1 million environmental oasis Friday, when the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center opens at 7 a.m. on the Midtown Greenway, just north of the Midtown Global Market.
 
Mayor R.T. Rybak, a cyclist from way back, will cut the ribbon, along with Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Allina CEO Dick Pettingill, Minneapolis City Council Members Gary Schiff and Robert Lilligren and a host of others.
 
The bike center, at 2834 10th Ave. S., will be more than a piddly pit stop for commuters. Repairs, of course, but a shower, too, a cafe. Lots of programs are planned for kids and the local community.
 
The federal government provided a $560,000 grant, the city kicked in $120,000, Allina chipped in $75,000, Ryan Cos. another $25,000, but the Freewheel folks have plunked down a bunch: $220,000, according to Jason Lardy, who is — this being a bike event — the spokesperson.
 
There’s an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday. Pedal there, of course.

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