It’s official. A bicycle system called Nice Ride is finally opened to the community in Bemidji. We attended the grand opening ceremony on Sunday and watched how the town was painted with orange bicycles.
Nice Ride is an urban bike share system that launched in Minneapolis back in 2009. After five years, it has finally arrived in Bemidji. Dozens of bike enthusiasts, who biked about 200 miles from Big Lake, showed up for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Even the President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the company sponsor of Nice Ride, visited in support of the program.
This bike program in Bemidji is different from that of its urban neighbors. Organizers say Bemidji is unique because of its size and location in greater Minnesota. They say this pilot program will test how an urban system can work in a smaller town.
The goal of Nice Ride is to make biking mainstream. These orange bikes are not about recreation but about having the opportunity to ride a bike everyday. This also falls in line with the City’s plan called the “Active Living Bemidji Project.” The strategy is to make the healthy choice the easy choice.