The League of American Bicyclists is out with its list of the most bike friendly states and the news is both good and bad for Minnesota.

On the positive, the Gopher state came in at No. 4, but that is two notches below its 2012 ranking according to results released Wednesday.

It's not that Minnesota is slipping, it's just that other states such as Colorado and Oregon have made better strides in making improvements allowing them to move up, said Andy Clarke, president of the Washington D.C.-based league which has been promoting bicycling since 1880.

"Minnesota is doing a lot of good stuff very well and setting the standard for a lot of other states," Clarke said. "The infrastructure is first rate and the culture of cycling is amazing."

Washington came in at No. 1 for the sixth straight year, followed by Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota and Delaware.
To compile its rankings, the league assessed five categories: legislation and enforcement, policies and programs, infrastructure and funding, education and encouragement, and evaluation and planning.

The rankings are a starting point for the advocacy group, which uses the information to identify and implement programs, policies and campaigns to improve conditions for bicyclists.

Among states in the Upper Midwest, Wisconsin checked in at No. 8, Iowa at No. 21, South Dakota at No. 46 and North Dakota was last at No. 50.

"We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Delaware, Colorado and Oregon," Clarke said. "But as the scores clearly highlight, there's much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and planning in every state."

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