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Top 10 Cities for Cycling

Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis and St. Paul's emergence as a bike-friendly superstar coincided with a general plan to make the area more livable. “Fifteen years ago almost no one lived downtown,” says Bill Dossett, executive director of the Nice Ride bike-share program. Today, downtown apartments have some of the highest occupancy rates around, a light rail line connects downtown Minneapolis with the University of Minnesota and downtown St. Paul, and Bicycling Magazine calls Minneapolis one of the best biking city in the country. Launched three years ago, Nice Ride had over 100,000 rides in 2010 and over 217,000 rides in 2011; rentals will start again this April. Nice Ride is adding 24 new stations to the Twin Cities in 2013, bringing the grand total to 170. The cities host bike-themed events “almost every weekend,” says Dossett, from scavenger hunts to organized rides to cycling races. A recent report found cycling and pedestrian traffic in Minneapolis and St. Paul has increased dramatically since 2007, with 56 percent more bikers and 22 percent more walkers hitting the streets. “All of these things are happening at the same time that we’ve made this great investment in the last five years,” says Dossett. “You bring all of that together and I think our future is very bright.”

Bikeable Miles
92 miles of on-street bikeways and 85 miles of off-street bikeways

Rent a Bike
A 24-hour subscription to the Nice Ride bike-share program costs $6, after which you can ride for free for the first 30 minutes. Fees are $1.50 for up to an hour, $4.50 for up to 90 minutes, and $6 for each additional half hour after that.

Try This Route
For visitors staying near the Convention Center, cruise down the Nicollet Mall then head over to the river and across the Stone Arch Bridge, a pedestrian- and bike-only bridge with a view of the St. Anthony Falls. “That’s just a great route to see the Old Mill District, to see the new Guthrie Theater, to see the river, and to see downtown from the Nicollet Mall,” says Dossett.

Liz Webber



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