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Every year, the League of American Bicyclists assesses all 50 states in terms of their bicycle friendliness.

It's a process the blendsresidents, local area bicyclists, and bike advocates in an attempt to get them to better understanding biking in their area and how it could be improved.

Through the process, which is theBicycle Friendly Community program, the 140-year-old League looks at metrics such as the number of bike lanes and bike trails in a given community, as well as the safety of riding in a given area and the training options offered in those areas. Communities that do well in those metrics stand a chance of being named a "Bicycle Friendly Community."

In 2019, Iowa placed 26th out of 50 for bicycle friendliness. So about as average possible. Iowa's neighbor-to-the-north, Minnesota, finished third behind Washington and Oregon.

Mason City's part

This year, Mason City's applying for "Bicycle Friendly Community" status and if enough Iowa communities like it also apply the state could shift upward.


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