I hear a rumor that Bicycling Magazine, in a possibly yet-to-be-released issue, has selected Minneapolis, our fair city, #1 in their 2010 Bike Friendly Cities list. Portland has been moved to #2.
This is funny because these lists have never before included Minneapolis, except maybe in the "honorable mention" category. The truth is that Minneapolis has been leading the nation in bike infrastructure since the 1890s, when bike paths were added around some of the city lakes. And year after year, Minneapolis is #1 or #2 in bike commuting as a percentage of population. We have extensive bike trails and bike lanes and an easily navigable grid of generally quiet city streets. Yes, we have winter, and this last one was tougher than most, but even in winter, cycling is generally a viable, even pleasant activity on most days. Of course, in my experience, a simple mention of the word "Minneapolis" to people who've never been here usually results in a semi-horrified wrinkling up of the nose and/or a grimace, or maybe the person will ask if I know his/her friend in Madison or Milwaukee. We live in the big homogeneous frozen flyover land that no outsider is likely to consider as a cycling hot-spot. Except that it is, and now the secret is out.
(I'll be humored if Bicycling plays the rise of Minneapolis as a "most improved" thing, rather than admitting that they simply overlooked us before)