March 20, 2005

Make Minnetonka Bicycle Friendly

I recently received a flier from the League of American Bicyclists regarding the Bicycling Friendly Community campaign they run. I’ve been a member of LAB for years and plan to continue. I’m a member of many bicycling organizations but LAB is unique and in many ways the most important. The other organizations focus on rides and trails mostly while LAB focuses on Washington DC and policy. They are our voice (I’ll use the word lobbyist trying to forget the slimy implications) for cycling in America. In addition to getting some additional funding from me for this program, I decided to do a little grass-roots advocacy of my own. The letter below is to the Mayor of Minnetonka.

Mayor Anderson,

I will keep this brief since I’m sure you are very busy. I live in Minnetonka and am also a cycling enthusiast. In addition to being a member of the Twin Cities Bicycling Club I’m also a member of the national organization League of American Bicyclists (LAB). I love cycling in all of it’s modes whether for competitive racing, recreational riding for fitness or just commuting to work. The bike is an amazingly elegant machine.

I’m writing to you because I recently became aware of the LAB program Bicycling Friendly Communities. This program is an awards program that recognizes cities that actively support bicycling. I looked over the list of communities in the program and was surprised to not see Minnesota anywhere in the list (click here for list). We have a surprisingly strong cycling community in Minnesota given our winters and have a history of advocacy, in fact leading the country in miles of bicycle trails!

This brings me to the point of my letter. I would like to encourage you to nominate Minnetonka to become a Bicycling Friendly Community and be the first in Minnesota to achieve at least a bronze specification. I think it would be a reinforcement of the already strong bicycling program the city has as well as a road to additional ways to bring cycling into our community.


Jamie Thingelstad

Bicycle Minnetonka Cycling

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