Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Take that, Portland! Minneapolis finishes first in national bike rankings

Minnesota might be known for its cold winters and "Ya, you betcha!" accents, but it's beginning to get some recognition for biking as well.

Minneapolis unseated Portland, Ore. as the most bike-friendly city in the country, according to an article in the Star Tribune. The rankings were determined by Bicycling magazine and compared 49 different cities in the country based on a city's number of bike lanes, municipal bike racks, bike boulevards, government interest in cycling improvements and local bike culture.

Minneapolis also scored high because of its pledge to instill a bike share program and the city's spike in bike commuters in recent years (almost tripled in the last three years alone!). Other high-ranking cities were Seattle, Boulder, Eugene and Madison.

As most Mankato-area residents probably know, South Central Minnesota is littered with good bike trails and all sorts of fun routes to take day trips on. Bike trails and low-traffic back roads can be used to get to anywhere from Faribault to New Ulm and back.

However, I was unaware our in-state metropolitan to the north was such an advocate for two-wheeled travel. I always figured that since the Minneapolis/St. Paul area was such a pain in the neck to drive through, it couldn't possibly be accommodating to cyclists.

I sense a road trip to the cities coming on. I'm going to have to see this cities biking culture first-hand to get a full grasp of it.

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