Minnesota Orchestra will soon offer discounts to bikers

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The Minnesota Orchestra is introducing a new program to encourage healthy living and cater to an increasingly bike-friendly metro by giving discounts to bikers.

"The Bike to Orchestra Hall" program will start in July. Audience members who ride their bikes to concerts can show their helmets or bike gear at the box office to receive an offer for a 50 percent discount to select concerts. It will continue through the summer and into the 2016-17 regular season.

“This is a fabulous way to get exercise and hear great music,” Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, a horn player in the Orchestra said in a release. “Minnesota is a very active state and there are many bike riders in the Orchestra. As musicians we need the cardio for our lung power and the constant motion combats the long hours we spend sitting while practicing.”

As part of the program, additional bike racks will be installed around Orchestra Hall. They also provided a map of navigation tips.

Bike sharing in Minnesota

The Orchestra also said that there are three Nice Bike rental locations within a block of Orchestra Hall.

Nice Ride Minnesota is a non-profit with over 1,700 bikes available from 190 locations throughout the Twin Cities. The bicycles are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from April to November, their website says.

Other cities like Willmar, Austin and Bemidji are expanding their own bike sharing systems as well.

A new analysis from the Mineta Transportation Institute studied bike share systems in Minneapolis, Washington D.C., and the Bay Area.

It found that collision and injury rates for bike-sharing are lower than injury rates for personal bicycling. They credit the design of bike-share bicycles: brightly colored, built for durability, and limited when it comes to speed.

They also pointed to bike-sharing rider behavior, suggesting that new riders might be extra careful on their borrowed bikes, leading to fewer crashes.

Known for being bike friendly

Not only is Minneapolis in U.S. rankings – recently they were named one of the best in the world.

Minneapolis is the only U.S. city to rank in the top 20 bike-friendly cities in the world, according to annual rankings compiled by the Copenhagenize Index of Bike-Friendly Cities, and reported by Wired.com.

Minneapolis broke into the top 20 for the first time, ranking 18th in a list headed up by the European biking meccas of Copenhagen and Amsterdam, with researchers full of praise for Minnesota’s biggest city.

Minneapolis was also ranked the number 1 city in the U.S. for biking by real estate firm Redfin, which said options for cyclists are keeping more commuters living in the city.

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