About 50 enthusiasts of bikes, business, and bikes in business turned out to Vikre Distilerry’s cocktail room on Tuesday, October 25th for DRAFT: Duluth. The event was the first edition of a bikes and business themed networking event that’s a collaboration of Duluth Bikes national advocacy organization People For Bikes.

The event featured a bespoke cocktail (“The Velocipede”), short talks from bike/biz/bike biz innovators and plenty of time for making connections. Emily Vikre kicked off the evening’s talk with a reflection on how bikes and craft industries are fueling an economic resurgence in Duluth that feels more a lot like developing ecosystem.

Dan Cruikshank of Spokengear bike shop in Two Harbors gave an enlightening overview of the scope of the bike biz in MN (it’s big!) and how he’s collaborating with local brands to bring a distinctive product assortment to the north shore.

Heather Wendel from Barr Engineering spoke about her company’s aggressive “commuter challenge”: a seasonal competition that promotes employee wellness through active transportation (and spreadsheets).

Former city councilor and current Glensheen Director closed out the program by offering up some important advocacy lessons learned on how to make the case for bike-ped improvements.

Stay tuned for another DRAFT evening in a few months; Duluth Draft is a collaboration between Duluth Bikes and the national advocacy organization People For Bikes. Special thanks to Vikre for hosting, to People For Bikes for sponsorship, and to Continental Ski and Bike, Galleria Bicycle, Urban Forest, Frost River, and the Duluth Area Family YMCA.