Cyclists gathered early Saturday morning in Uptown Ankeny, ready to ride up to 100 miles to raise money for multiple sclerosis research.

Now in its fifth year in Ankeny, the Bike MS event is one of a handful ofrides that have relocated to the city in recent years.

As the southernmost spot on the popularHigh Trestle Trail, and with arecreational trail network that spans nearly 80 miles, Ankeny has become an increasingly popular stop for Iowa's cyclingcommunity.

Now, the growing Des Moines suburb wants to positionitself as the premierbicycling spot in the state.

“We’re in a position to be a community that people think of when they think of bicycling in Iowa,”said Derek Lord, Ankeny’seconomic development director. “I think we have the infrastructure in place to make Ankeny a trail tourist destination.”

Recreational cycling in Iowa generates nearly $1 million in economic impact per day, according to a2011 study by the University of Northern Iowa Sustainable Tourism and Environment Program and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.





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