In a sign of spring for Twin Cities bicyclists, Nice Ride Minnesota announced Friday that it will launch April 1 — and with more bikes this year.
The popular bike-share program is starting a full two weeks earlier this year than last year thanks to the recent spree of springlike temperatures melting snow and ice.
"That's the plan as long as this beautiful weather stays," spokeswoman Natalie Howell said Saturday. "We never want to say 100 percent."
That's because in years past, warmer weather has led to the bike program starting, only to have to put the lime-green bikes back in storage when winter weather returned. This year's early start — although not the earliest the program has started — will give Minneapolis and St. Paul bicyclists a jump start on the season after last year's season wrapped up in November. Crews will start setting up stations Wednesday, with bikes expected to be ready to rent April 1.
And there will be more bikes and stations available this year. Nice Ride is adding 20 new stations with 200 more bikes this season, adding up to 190 bike stations across Minneapolis and St. Paul.
For more information, go to www.niceridemn.org.