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Codie Bennetts, left, and her brother, Kelly, take Miko for a walk Tuesday on the Glacial Lakes State Trail in Spicer. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

Cyclopath map assists cyclists at all levels in finding best route

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news Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Transportation, The University of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council are working together to create a bicycling website and Android application called Cyclopath that helps Minnesota cyclists plan their bicycling routes around Minnesota.

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The Cyclopath website classifies the project as a geowiki — an editable map on which anyone can share notes about roads and bike trails, enter tags about special locations and fix map problems like missing routes and trails.

The Android application is even more handy as it can map cycling paths by simply being turned on while cycling, the application then follows the cyclists progress via GPS and adds the route to the map.

Cyclopath recently gained access to MnDOT’s road network and most of the trails so that when new bicyclist infrastructure is added in Minnesota, cyclists are able to edit the map to reflect any recent changes to the cycling networks.

“As the bicycle network expands, we hope to see good information from the people who use it,” said Tim Mitchell, state bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, in a recent news release. “Cyclopath information for the Twin Cities is very complete and includes most bike trails and facilities. We encourage bicyclists to add trails and edit roads to show bike lanes and facilities in Greater Minnesota. This has the potential to be a great asset to the state.”

Bicyclists who access the site to plan a route can choose between routes that favor trails and bike lanes, routes with the highest user ratings or routes with the shortest distance between two points. This feature allows for cyclists of all levels -- from 70-mile-per-day cyclists to families of five looking to ride a few short miles around a lake -- the ability to plan out the perfect route that fits their riding style.

Cyclopath was released for the metro area in 2008 but was recently updated by the developers and MnDOT to be a tool that assists bicyclists statewide.

The map is available at www.cycloplan.cyclopath.org and the Android application can be downloaded directly from the website.

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