More Midwest places and employers named bike-friendly
The upper Midwest fared well in the League of American Bicyclists' updated list of bicycle-friendly communities, businesses and states included in the January-February issue of The American Bicyclist, the Bike League's bimonthly magazine.
The Bike League says its evaluation process is significant because bicycling "promotes active lifestyles, productive citizens and employees, reduces traffic congestion and improves air quality; and most importantly, bicycling creates fun and vibrant places to live and work."
Thirty-three cities and town, which apply to the league for the recognition, were added in 2010 to the Bike League's list of bicycle-friendly communities, bringing the total number to nearly 160 nationwide.
Upper Midwest communities newly listed as bicycle-friendly at the bronze level were Lansing and Marquette, Michigan; Rochester, Minnesota; and Urbana, Illinois.
Previously listed and still considered bicycle friendly in the region at the gold level (just shy of platinum, the highest level) is Madison, Wisconsin; at the silver level: Chicago, Minneapolis and Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Bronze level: Milwaukee; Grand Rapids and Portage, Michigan; Iowa City and Cedar Falls, Iowa; La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Schaumburg and Naperville, Illinois.
BFBs are employers recognized by the league for their efforts to encourage bicycling by their employees and customers. The growing list includes the following businesses in the upper Midwest:
At the platinum level: Quality Bicycle Products in Bloomington, Minnesota.
At the gold level: Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin; Dero Bike Rack Co. in Minneapolis; The Hub of Detroit in Detroit; Planet Bike in Madison, Wisconsin; Trek Bicycle Corp. in Waterloo, Wisconsin; and Wheel & Sprocket, Inc. in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.
Silver-level BFBs include: The Burke Group in Rosemont, Illinois; Just Coffee Co-op in Madison; League of Michigan Bicyclists; Meredith Corp. in Des Moines; Olson, Bzdok & Howard, P.C. in Traverse City, Michigan; Peace Coffee in Minneapolis; Penn Cycle in Bloomington, Minnesota; REI Lincoln Park and REI Northbrook in Illinois; Trek Bicycle Stores of Madison; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; University of Wisconsin-Madison; and World of Bikes in Iowa City, Iowa.
Bronze level: Ameriprise Financial Corp. Headquarters, Capella University, Carmichael Lynch, Colle+McVoy, The Green Institute, Birchwood Cafe and Spyeglass, all in Minneapolis; Berghammer Construction in Butler, Wisconsin; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in Eagan; Broken Spoke in Iowa City, Iowa; City of Champaign, Illinois; Engberg Anderson, Inc., Eppstein Uhen Architects and Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee; Erik's Bike Shop in Bloomington, Minnesota; Fein Violins, Ltd., Fresh Energy, Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles, Park Tool Co. and Ramsey County in St. Paul, Minnesota; Great River Energy in Maple Grove, Minnesota; IBM in Rochester, Minnesota; Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids, Michigan; SAP Labs-La Crosse, Wisconsin; Spin Doctor Cyclewerks in Bartlett, Illinois; and Trek Bicycle in Downers Grove, Illinois
The league also ranks states annually based on their bike-friendliness. States can also apply for recognition and assistance from the league to improve how they treat cyclists and promote cycling.
In 2010, Wisconsin came in No. 2 behind only Washington. The two silver-level states were ranked the same in 2009. Bronze-level Minnesota moved up a spot to No. 4, bumping Oregon, a silver-level state, down to No. 5. From 2009 to 2010, Iowa and Michigan dropped a spot to seventh and 16th place respectively. Illinois, ranked No. 12 in 2009, fell to 21st last year.
The states were graded according legislation, policies, programs, infrastructure, education, evaluation and enforcement. Iowa was unbeaten by any state in the areas of education and enforcement, but fared poorly in legislation and evaluation (No. 37 in both categories). Wisconsin scored highest in policies and programs (No. 2), education and infrastructure (No. 4).
Minnesota ranked first in evaluation and third in policies and programs. Michigan finished in the top five for infrastructure and education but in the bottom third of the states for legislation and evaluation.
According to the rankings, Illinois needs to implement more bike-friendly policies and programs (No. 34), promote bike education (No. 25) and enforce existing bicycling-related laws (No. 27).
For more information about the league's bicycle-friendly rankings and lists, go to www.bikeleague.org.
- Mud Run Training is coming to The YMCA in Rhinelander, WI
- UCare City of Lakes Tri-Loppet Summer Festival, June 29
- Chequamegon Fat Tire Fest awards race spots
- New: Great Lakes Marathon Series
- Research money raised by Callie Rohr Memorial Canoe Race, June 8-9
- 2013 Tour of America's Dairyland races set
- Backroads Banderdinker celebrates paddlesports
- Upper Midwest Endurance Challenge announced
- 20 mile of singletrack groomed for snow biking in Marquette, Mich.
- Porcupine Mountains Trail Marathon to debut Oct. 5