SLOW ROLL: Minneapolis cyclists pedal for peace

- What better way to celebrate summer than by going on a group bike ride? But, some of these amateur cyclists like Jonathan Davis are also pedaling for peace.

"I live on the north side and having a bunch of neighbors get together. Being neighbors makes a difference and every little bit helps," neighborhood resident Jonathan Davis said.

Davis is one of the 50 or so people who turned out for Slow Roll Twin Cities' weekly ride, this time through north Minneapolis.

The goal is to find hidden gems in areas that are economically oppressed and people may be afraid to venture into on their own.

"We know people drive through these neighborhoods all the time, but when people bike through their neighborhoods," Slow Roll Twin Cities organizer Anthony Taylor said. "There's a pace that helps you see the people and humanity in a community and that is really the intention of slow roll."

The group includes riders from ages eight to 80 and everyone from avid cyclists to novices.

With recent high profile shooting both in the Twin Cities and across the country, the ride is also a show of support to end gun violence.

"This is a counter-narrative to everything that people see," Taylor said. "Because if we can take women and children and people who aren't cyclists and we are safe, then we are a living counter narrative to everything they believe about it." 

After a stop along the Mississippi River for a ritual of renewal, the group is on their way.

But, Davis believes something as simple as riding bikes together is helping build a better community.

"Being out in the neighborhood as neighbors, being involved and letting people see us, it makes a difference," Davis said.

Slow Roll started five years ago in Detroit and arrived in the Twin Cities last summer.

If you'd like to join the group, they take off every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. More details can be found on the group's Facebook page

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