Star Tribune: When it comes to two wheels, we're Number One
Flabergasted, that's a good word to decribe me. My dad sent me the article and I ended up coughing on my morning cup of tea. Bicycling Magazine has ranked Minneapolis, Minnesota as the most bike-friendly city in the United States for 2010.
I know Minneapolis has quite a lot of bike trails and of course, our bike highways The Greenway and the Ceder Lake Trail, but we beat out Portland?
After reading Steve Friedman's article, I'm still a bit at a loss as to what the big deal is about Minneapolis. Yes, a lot of urban commuters ride through the winter here. We've got some dedicated bike lanes downtown, and a veritable network of bike trails around the city and it's suburbs. Perhaps because I grew up with all of this in my backyard, I find it ordinary, expected even, not remarkable. I'm used to riding on the roads around Lake Minnetonka, Lake Calhoun, and Lake Harriet in the summertime. Quite a few roads around the Twin Cities area have wide shoulders that are kept in good condition and swept clean of sand in the spring, perfect for riding.
Maybe, as Mr. Friedman notes, the remarkable thing about Minneapolis is that those of us who live and work here don't always see how remarkable our bike culture is. To us, this is ordinary. This town takes all types of bikers, most riders are happy to see so many other people on two wheels that the type of bike doesn't matter. (Except for that guy who rides in a Speedo; dude, seriously?) Few people are pretentious about riding here, I've found; and the one's that are don't last too long. Or just they hang around with other pretintious riders, and thus, fall off my radar.
I guess, all in all, we've got a good thing going here in the MiniApple.
Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.