Minneapolis, I love you. It isn’t because you’re hosting the All-Star Game or because Prince lives here (although that helps), but because you encourage folks to ditch their cars and hop on a bicycle.
As I do in every city, I began my visit by searching for a local co-op or organic grocery store. I found one and hit the road, navigating through the streets with my face buried in my phone. A few blocks into my two-mile journey, I picked my head up just in time to delight in my newfound pleasure, Niceride. From niceridemn.org:
Nice Ride is a non-profit bike sharing system, and anyone can become a member. Simply take a bike when you need one, and return it to any station in the system when you arrive at your destination.
How does this work?
The Nice Ride station will issue a 5 digit code to unlock a bike. Punch your code into the dock of any available bike to unlock it. When the green light comes on pull the bike out and go…Return the bike to any station in the system.
Minutes later, I was on a bike, cruising the city in traffic and even more dangerously buried in my phone following turn by turn navigation. Remember, Kaplifestyle is a judgment-free zone.
Over the course of my trip, I likely spent 5 hours cycling. I was outside exploring Minnesota instead of holed up in a hotel room, idly passing time at the ballpark or even just roaming around on foot. As an added benefit, I probably burned off an extra 3,000 calories. From livestrong.com:
The Harvard Heart Letter also took its estimates out on the street, so to speak. Using the same three hypothetical test subjects, bicycling at a leisurely 12 to 13.9 miles per hour burned 480 calories, 596 calories and 710 calories per hour, respectively.
Make no mistake, I wasn’t out just to exercise. Being outdoors turns me on mentally. I saw more of the stunning outskirts of the city than I would have on foot. Being on a bike dramatically increased my range, so I crushed food at establishments I wouldn’t have reached under alternate circumstances. Best of all, I didn’t hop in a cab or drive a car.
Here’s hoping the folks at Niceride come to Cali soon.