Route choice is one of the most important aspects in making your ride enjoyable. While you can legally ride on any road (except prohibited highways and freeways) taking time to research routes that utilize bicycle facilities and low-volume streets can greatly enhance your experience. Often, the best route for riding your bike differs from the best route when walking or driving and may even require going partially out of your way.
A great place to start is to use bicycling directions on Google Maps. Open the menu in the upper left corner and select bicycling. This mode will display bicycle infrastructure and provide suggested routes. Note: routes suggested by Google or any other mapping service can be a good place to start but they are not necessarily the best option.
Online and digital maps
There are many digital and physical bike maps for the Twin Cities area produced by public agencies and private companies. Each has their advantages. Only you can determine which works best for you.
For physical map options, check your local bike shop, public library, or local city, town or county office. Many of the above linked digital maps are also available in physical formats.
As the Twin Cities becomes more bicycle friendly and more bicycle facilities are added, you may encounter different bicycle infrastructure, including bike lanes, protected bike lanes, bicycle boulevards and others. Check out the bicycle road markings and signs section of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota’s Minnesota Bicycling Handbook.
Transit is a great tool to pair with biking. To learn about how to travel on a bus or train with your bike, check out Metro Transit’s website. You can also find information on bike lockers in the Twin Cities.