Twin Cities Bicycling
Minnesota has more miles of paved rail-to-trail bikeways than any other state. These paved trails were developed along former railroad beds, and offer smooth biking through scenic corridors.
You couldn't choose a better place to live if biking is your passion. Bike Magazine named the Twin Cities as one of the 15 best cities in North America for mountain biking. And it's no wonder with an endless supply of designated bike trails and beautiful scenery to ride around. There are also local bike clubs, races, and tours to add to your enjoyment.
The area's largest cycling event is the Saint Paul Classic Bike Tour, held the second Sunday of each September. Typically, about 7,000 participants bike in the event with more spectators joining in on the fun.
While summer is certainly the most popular time for biking, it is a year-round sport for avid bikers in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Streets with bike lanes are plowed in winter, so locals don't think twice about bundling up to ride.
Bike trails are available in many local parks throughout the Twin Cities as well as within suburban neighborhoods. New trails are being planned throughout the Twin Cities in addition to improvements to current trails. In general, both the designated bike lanes throughout the city streets and the off-road paths are very well maintained.
Perhaps the largest and most popular trail system in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area is the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. Made up of seven byway districts in and around Minneapolis, this recreational masterpiece includes a system of parks, trails, historic sites, golf courses, gardens, and more. There are over 50 miles of paths within the system, with just over 43 miles designated for biking.
Another long trail is the 27 mile Southwest Regional LRT Trail beginning in Hopkins. This trail is mostly flat, well-groomed, and follows abandoned railroad beds. Some like this trail because it gives them a more open "away from the city" feeling. This is a popular trail among those who commute to work from the southwest suburbs.
In addition to biking recreation and fitness, several residents use a bicycle as their main transportation to work and to get around the city.
A June 2007 survey by the US Census Bureau found that among US cities, only Portland, Oregon had more people ride their bikes to work than Minneapolis.
Metro Transit buses and the Hiawatha line offer bike racks for riders who need to go longer distances or need a short break from riding. The local government and private entities share in the cost of providing bike racks and lockers to park your bike throughout the city.