From 4,150 miles away, winter biking enthusiasts in Netherland's city of Leeuwarden gripped their conference's handlebars and pointed the wheel straight toward the Twin Cities.
Minneapolis and St. Paul were picked to host the fourth annual International Winter Cycling Congress – the first time it will be held in the United States after stops in the Netherlands, Finland and Canada.
In announcing the decision, the congress said the Twin Cities were picked "because of their strong winter cycling culture, ambitious plans to make year-round cycling even better and innovative approach to winter cycling, especially as it relates to fat biking."
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a news release her city is "perfect" for the event, noting its reputation as a bike-friendly spot and consistent praise for the "winter bicycling culture."
Said Chris Coleman, mayor of St. Paul: “Here in Saint Paul, we don’t shy away from winter – we embrace it. ... Saint Paul is the perfect setting for the 2016 International Winter Cycling Congress.”
What is the Winter Cycling Congress?
The event is billed as a three-day professional development conference for winter cycling enthusiasts who want to show the benefits of the activity – as a sustainable transportation option, a healthy lifestyle, or simply n exercise people enjoy doing, the congress' website says.
The congress says everyone from "from engineers to planners to bloggers to public health officials and more" travel from around the world to attend
This year's conference was held in Leeuwarden, and wrapped up Thursday. You can check out their Facebook page for photos and info.