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Minneapolis Only American Town to Make World's Most Bike-Friendly Cities List

A bicyclist on the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge.

A bicyclist on the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge.

Minneapolis loves to be loved. As a little-big city often overlooked by national media -- aside from the New York Times' weird fascination with our dating scene and elusive grape salads -- it feels validating whenever the outside pressman bats his digital lashes at us.

We're also super into biking. So, when a fancy national technology and culture magazine ranks our cycling scene just behind Paris', we predictably blush on our banana seats.

See also: St. Paul makes major best bike cities list.

Middle fingers in the air, Minneapolis cruised past Portland en route to becoming the only American city on Wired Magazine's list of the 20 most bike-friendly cities on the planet. At No. 18, we barely crept onto the only biking list that matters (until the next one), beating out those chumps in Hamburg and Montreal.

The magazine lauds our 120 miles of on-street bikeways and 90 miles of off-street lanes, noting that "Minneapolis is quickly becoming the go-to city in America for building infrastructure." Our Nice Ride program also received an indirect shout-out, as did City Hall's commitment to making Minneapolis Bike Town U.S.A.

"A respectable bike-share system is helping cement the bicycle in the transportation foundation of the city," Mikael Colville-Andersen writes. "Seeds have been planted and a garden is growing. American cities -- often content with baby steps -- are in desperate need of leadership, and Minneapolis has emerged as a contender."

Oh stop it, Mikael.

The list used an index devised by the Copenhagenize Design Company to rank 122 metro areas with a population greater than 600,000, with a few exceptions. In a scandal that could rock the world of disposable online bike lists, the Danish firm's formula, which accounted for biking facilities, social acceptance and other factors, propelled Copenhagen to the top. The Dutch also fared well with Amsterdam and Utrecht placing second and third respectively.

But before Minneapolis allows its head to balloon, Colville-Andersen sent a borderline admonishment for our winter weather pride and called for better snowplowed bike paths.

"What will help the city is to stop talking about the winter and to focus on getting a massive rise in ridership during the rest of the year," he writes.

Whatever. We're still on a list.

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