Minnesota Biking Leads the National Scene
You’re probably familiar with the great strides that the Duluth bike community has been making to improve biking opportunities in our community. Without a doubt, The Duluth Traverse stands out as a major accomplishment. The trail, when completed, will be the longest urban mountain bike trail in the nation consisting of a 100-mile purpose built mountain bike trail system that – as the name would imply – traverses Duluth. Kudos to the Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores for leading that initiative.
Groups like Duluth Bikes are working to make Duluth a welcoming place to ride a bike – for transportation, for work, and for fun. The Duluth YMCA now has a fleet of bicycles available for schools or youth-serving organizations in our community to promote bicycle transportation and bike education. The Healthy Duluth Area Coalition promotes a one-of-a-kind, month-long celebration each May in Duluth that brings together bicyclists, businesses, art hounds, outdoor enthusiasts, active commuters, and families that share a mutual love for busing, biking, and walking.
Local businesses are also helping to promote biking – Continental Ski & Bike, for example, puts on an annual Bike Swap to create a convenient (and fun) way for folks to buy and sell their bikes, get stoked about biking, and raise money for the United Way. Kraus-Anderson hosts the annual Duluth Bike Festival a 2-day event designed to celebrate Duluth’s world-class bike trails, benefit area nonprofits, and fund the completion of The Duluth Traverse. And progressive local businesses like Thirsty Pagan Brewing, Bent Paddle Brewing Company, and LOLL Designs provide substantial funding to support cycling opportunities in our community.
The list goes on.
Long story short… Duluth is progressing as a bike-centric community. We have a long ways to go but it’s always good to take time and celebrate our victories.
Explore Minnesota posted a recent press release that highlights the state’s leadership role in cycling tourism and bike friendliness. We’re reposting it here because we love to celebrate and encourage the healthy and active lifestyles that biking brings to our community.
Minnesota: A Destination for Biking
Reposted from Explore Minnesota.
Minnesota stands out on the national biking scene. Thanks to 18 officially designated Bicycle Friendly Communities and 73 Bicycle Friendly Businesses, Minnesota is ranked the No. 2 bike-friendly state in the country by the League of American Bicyclists. In recent years, the state’s also been recognized as the “Best Trails State” by American Trails (2010), and Minneapolis is regularly ranked as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country (currently No.1 according to Forbes and No. 3 per Bicycling magazine).
Even the American Automobile Association (AAA) supports biking in Minnesota, recently introducing statewide coverage to members whose bicycle has become disabled or inoperable. With more than 4,000 miles of paved trails, endless biking routes, and one of the nation’s largest bike share programs, Minnesota offers excellent options for all kinds of cyclists. Bicycling has a positive impact on the state, including benefits to individuals, communities, the environment and the economy, generating more than $1 billion in expenditures throughout the state.
“We’re excited to kick off summer in Minnesota, and biking is one of the many great ways to explore our state,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota, partner agency of Pedal Minnesota. “Whether it’s a 3 Mile Smile in the city, a weeklong bike tour or a mountain biking adventure, riding a bike is a great addition to any Minnesota vacation. Pedal Minnesota strives to make biking easy and accessible for everyone, and places Minnesota on the map as a top place to ride.”