Cool Breeze

The weather here in Minneapolis has been unseasonably cool and pleasant. Light fluffy (mostly) non-threatening clouds drifting in the sky and temperatures in the 70s.

It almost feels like autumn out there which makes riding the bike to work even more enjoyable. Even the headwind on the way home seems pleasant when it’s cooling you off, making slowing down feel like a good thing.

It’s times like this that make you happy we live in Minnesota, where over 4,600 of us enlightened folk ride our bicycles to work on a regular basis, second only to Portland, OR. That’s a rather amazing statistic when you take into account that for 6+ months out of the year most people wouldn’t even THINK about riding their bikes.

I actually happen to enjoy commuting in the colder weather. There is something very emboldening about gearing up for a ride in winter weather. I break out my woolly undergarments, helmet liners, and neoprene booties to do battle on two wheels with old man winter.

Some of my most memorable rides, both on road, and off, have been during some of the most bitter cold winter days. Some have left me rather chilled, one even had my weeping after crashing on glare ice and knocking the wind out of myself, but mostly I spend a few minutes getting my body temperature up, and then nothing but the pure enjoyment of crisp air in the lungs and the natural beauty of a Minnesota winter.

But I digress….

One of the reasons the Twin Cities is such a great place to live and ride is the outstanding infrastructure in place to support cycling enthusiasts and commuters.

Cedar Lake Bike Highway

Midtown Greenway

New Bridge over Hiawatha (under construction)

All of this brought to us by the efforts of organizations like the Midtown Greenway Coalition. I’m blessed to live two blocks from an entrance to the Greenway and use it almost daily to go West to Uptown and The Lakes area, and East to Longfellow where I do a fair amount of business.

Sure, sometimes it takes me on a less then direct route to my destination, but that’s a small price to pay to not have to do battle with cars and SUVs on some of the city’s streets.

Recently the city of Minneapolis was awarded a sizable grant to continue to create cycling infrastructure including a proposed bridge to connect the Longfellow section of the Greenway with the City of St. Paul.

Things are just going to get better and better for those of us committed to living (and working) on two wheels.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    I have a dream that we will someday have a little garage just for our bicycles, thus removing the need to drag the bike out of the basement. I think because of my height, or lack thereof, I always bang my shins and ankles on some unruly part of the bike when I am lifting it up our L-shaped stairs. Other than that, I love biking! As I was biking downtown on Wednesday, though I was irked that bikers are not allowed on Nicollet, I mused upon how easy it is to bike in the downtown. Cars are going really slowly for the most part because there’s a light at every corner. Because it’s a grid, and not some crazy downtown Boston Paul Revere-type mayhem, it’s really a very orderly experience.


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