GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Minnesota has a love affair with bicycling. Travel to just about every region of the state and you will find old railroad routes that have been converted into paved trails for biking. Explore Minnesota says there are more than 4,000 miles of trails spread across the Land of 10,000 Lakes. A claim made on Wikipedia boasts that Minnesota has more miles of bike trails than any other state.

Pedaling benefits 

Biking is applauded by health experts as an easy, low-impact way to burn calories. The actual number of calories burned will depend on a variety of factors including your pace, distance, physical condition, and more.

LiveStrong, working with research from the Wisconsin Department of Health, provides these general calorie-burning guidelines.

  • Light Cycling – pace:10 to 11.9 mph / reward: 32-47 calories/mile
  • Moderate Cycling – pace: 12 to 13.9 mph / reward: 36-53 calories/mile
  • Vigorous Cycling – pace: 14 to 15.9 mph / reward 39-58 calories/mile
  • Racing – pace:16+ mph / reward: 40-59 calories/mile

 To better compute your personal burn-rate, check out these on-line health calculators:

Calories Burned HQ 
Kesian Online Calculators

Getting started: Helmets

The first step in any biking adventure is making sure you have a helmet that fits and that you actually wear it. This applies to both children and adults!  The U.S. Department of Transportation says wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury to bicyclists by as much as 85%. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a crash.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a simple guide for ensuring a proper fit. Find it here.  If you’re more of a video-watching type, check out these YouTube links by NHTSA, fitting helmets to kids by AVID Adventures, or Live to Play Sports

Planning your adventure

Not sure where to start your family’s biking adventure? Explore Minnesota has maps for all the bike trails in the state. Simply type in the name of the community you want visit, and it will provide options, including opportunities for people with disabilities.

HaveFundBiking.com is a great place to learn about various bike trails in Minnesota and across the Midwest. Their website has a section devoted to ‘Next Bike Adventure’.  The reviews talk about trail maps, challenges, sites to see, places to stay and eat, and local bike shops.

It’s always good to know the laws related to bicycling in Minnesota. Brush up on your biking rules, regulations, and etiquette with this information from Twin Cities Biking. 

Know Your Numbers

This information is provided by Health Fair 11 as part of its Know Your Numbers Campaign.  Health Fair 11 is a non-profit organization that operates with the support of KARE 11 TV and UCare. Learn more at www.HealthFair11.org. To find out how your organization can become an official Health Fair 11 sponsor, email healthfair@kare11.com .

Resources use for this article

Explore Minnesota 

HaveFunBiking.com  

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration 

LiveStrong