Get Out There: March

March is here, the weather is warming up, the sky is lighter longer, and the social calendar in Minneapolis–Saint Paul is getting fuller and fuller, like a just-filled glass of beer sparkling in the afternoon sun.

Oof, we got lost in a spring beer reverie there for a second. Now that we’re back in action, let’s examine five awesome events the JoyRide crew is looking forward to in March! It’s time to ride, and ride, and ride ...


 A still from Magdi Ahmed Ali's "The Preacher," playing at Metropolitan State University on Friday, March 23 as part of the Mizna Arab Film Fest.

A still from Magdi Ahmed Ali's "The Preacher," playing at Metropolitan State University on Friday, March 23 as part of the Mizna Arab Film Fest.

Mizna Arab Film Fest 2018
Friday, March 9, 7 p.m., St. Catherine University & Wisdom Ways
Friday, March 23, 7 p.m., Metropolitan State University

Mizna, an Arab arts organization, is harnessing the empathetic powers of cinema to push back against the anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, anti-immigrant sentiments that are plaguing American society today. Throughout the winter and spring, their Arab Film Fest will bring independent Arab cinema to Minnesota campuses.

There will be two events in March, featuring works by filmmakers Faiza Ambah, Darine Hotait, Suha Araj, and Magdi Ahmed Ali. Some screenings will even feature post-movie discussions with local Arab and Muslim thinkers. These discussions will delve into the bigger issues brought up by the films.

Altogether it sounds like these will be thoughtful, enriching nights out that will enhance your understanding of Arab cinema!

 Photo courtesy of the Fat Bike Birkie.

Photo courtesy of the Fat Bike Birkie.

45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie
Saturday, March 10, 7:30 a.m., Birkebeiner Trail (Cable, Wisconsin)

On Saturday, March 10, the 45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie will host 47K Big Fat and 21K Chico fat bike races that’ll have you tackling this world-famous, professionally groomed trail in Cable, Wisconsin. It's a way to test your strength, your endurance, and then your after-partying skills.

The full Birkie Trail comprises 100km of outdoor bliss that winds through Wisconsin’s Bayfield and Sawyer counties, “inviting silent sports enthusiasts [biking, cross-country skiing] to explore its beautiful forests, rolling hills, bridges and winding trails.” Learn more at Birkie.com.

After this action-packed, super-snowy winter, the Fat Bike Birkie feels like the perfect grand finale. So get your big-wheeled beast ready, cruise across the Cheddar Curtain, and get riding! I’ll see you there on the Chico route.

 Photo courtesy of Glen Hansard himself.

Photo courtesy of Glen Hansard himself.

An Evening with Glen Hansard
Saturday, March 17, 7:30 p.m., Palace Theatre, Saint Paul

It seems only right to celebrate Saint Paddy’s Day with the Irish singer-songwriter who won all our hearts over back in 2006. That year, Hansard co-starred in Once, a musical about falling in love around melancholy folk music and yearning for someone you can’t be with.

Now, Hansard is releasing his third album Between Two Shores, an LP inspired by his months spent rowing the icy seas between Ireland and Northern Spain. The album’s “break-up songs and meandering musings” (Pitchfork) are the culmination of six years of recording, writing, and journeys of the heart.

Pedal to downtown Saint Paul, find a spot at the majestic renovated Palace Theatre, and ponder new Hansard songs like “Time Will Be the Healer,” “Wheels on Fire,” “Why Woman” and “Setting Forth.” 

 Pizza photo courtesy of Pig Ate My Pizza.

Pizza photo courtesy of Pig Ate My Pizza.

Insight Tap Takeover at Pig Ate My Pizza
Sunday, March 25, 3–8 p.m., Pig Ate My Pizza, Robbinsdale

Imagine a pizza party — an adult pizza party! — in a gritty Robbinsdale space that’s packed from wall to wall, almost no room to stand.

A chef slides through the crowd and slips a just-made legitimately gourmet pizza onto a table, after which attendees race over to grab slice after slice. Plus, there’s special beer on tap and you can drink as much of it as you want. All you need to do is walk to the bar and ask for a pint, no funds exchanged, over and over.

That’s what it's like at a Piggy Party at Robbindale’s Pig Ate My Pizza, featuring unlimited slices of pizza, unlimited beers, drinking games like Tippy Cup, desserts, a raffle, and more — all staged by the party animals who own and run this establishment and occasionally drink beers out of boots while shouting Ziggy Zaggy Ziggy Zaggy OI OI OI!

This time around, Insight Brewing is bringing the beer, the P.A.M.P. crew is prepping the pizzas per usual, and it’s a guaranteed amazing time for you.

 Photo provided by 30 Days of Biking. Taken by Scott Haraldson.

Photo provided by 30 Days of Biking. Taken by Scott Haraldson.

30 Days of Biking: Kickoff Party
Saturday, March 31, 12–4 p.m., Surly Brewing, Minneapolis

OK, so: This writer totally co-organized this 30 Days of Biking: Kickoff Party, but believe me, I wouldn’t put it before your eyes if it weren’t a guaranteed blast-and-a-half, and co-organizer Mario Macaruso and I are working closely with Surly Brewing to ensure it is!

To begin with, you should know that 30 Days of Biking is a pledge to ride your bike every day in April and share your adventures online. We’ve been building community around bikes since 2010. Every year, we plan festivities to celebrate this awesome social pledge and the beauties of spring (or fall, depending on a rider’s hemisphere — but up here it’s spring).

This year, we’re circling our bikes at Surly’s Destination Brewery for beers, good times with fellow Joyful Riders, 2018 swag, as well as a special party feature that rhymes with EAT-ZA. Maybe. There’s still work to be done. [winkface]

Join us and let’s celebrate the ninth year of 30 Days of Biking!