Dorian Grilley (right to left) presents the Bike Friendly Walker Group award to Roxie Parks, Cindy Wannarka and Terri Bjorklund.

More Minnesotans are bicycling more often, and more towns, cities and businesses across the state are working to become bicycle-friendly.

Minnesota is on the forefront of the bicycle-friendly movement, as is proven by the state’s ranking as the second most bicycle-friendly state in the United States by the League of American Bicyclists.

These rankings and a bicycle-friendly status don’t come easily. They take hard work and collaboration at both the policy and grassroots levels. To recognize some of the organizations and individuals working especially hard and doing amazing things to support bicycling, the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota hosts the annual Minnesota Bicycling Awards.

Throughout the months of March and April bike advocates from across the state nominated their colleagues, local community members, and organizations for the Minnesota Bicycling Awards. The submission list was reviewed by a panel of bicycle educators and advocates, and the winners were recognized at the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota’s annual meeting Saturday.

2019 winners and categories

Bicycle Friendly Business Champion, Bike Friendly Walker

Educator of the Year Award (organization), Safe Kids Coalition, Duluth and Arrowhead Region

Bicycle Friendly Community Champion, Friends of the Jackson County Trails

Advocate of the Year (organization), Minneapolis Bike Parks

Advocate of the Year (individual), Barbara Beck of We Bike Rochester

Lifetime Service Award, Louis Moore, Major Taylor Bicycling

More about Bike Friendly Walker

Through the efforts of Bike Friendly Walker — a committee of local advocates, city and county staff, hospitality stakeholders, and trail enthusiasts from the area — the city has become a luxurious destination for bike-minded tourists.

“One of the committee’s astounding feats over the past year was to recruit a boatload of local businesses to work on becoming more bike friendly,” said Dorian Grilley, executive director of BikeMN. “Last year eight companies in Walker were recognized as official Bicycle Friendly Businesses by the League of American Bicyclists — the most per capita in the nation.”

This means that this small city nestled between Brainerd and Bemidji now sports the highest per capita number of BFBs in the entire country. While this is obviously a boon for those who vacation in town, the people who work at the local hotels, restaurants, and school district also benefit from the extra support their employers provide them to lead two-wheeled lives.

More about BikeMN

BikeMN is working to make Minnesota a place where bicycling is easy, safe and fun for everyone. The mission of BikeMN is to unite and strengthen bicycle advocacy, education, and work for a more bicycle friendly Minnesota.

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