A group of cold-weather cyclists will pedal into the Twin Cities just in time to sample Minnesota snow at their gathering this week.
The international meeting, called the Winter Cycling Congress, is held in a new bike-friendly city every year to promote the hobby.
“The idea is to raise awareness for winter biking,” said Steve Sanders, alternative transportation manager for the University of Minnesota Office of Parking and Transportation.
The Twin Cities placed a bid to host the conference last year and won, he said.
This is the event’s fourth year, but it’s the first time the conference has been hosted in a United States city.
The conference will start Tuesday at the Commons Hotel on Washington Avenue Southeast and end on Thursday, with many events at the University campus in between.
Nearly 300 people from around the world will attend the summit, Sanders said.
“It really is an opportunity for people in the biking community to share their knowledge and experience with others,” Sanders said.
Dorian Grilley, executive director for the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota said the conference will bring together public officials, planners, engineers and other cycling advocates and aficionados.
“I see it as recognition of what the biking community has done for cycling in the Twin Cities over the past few years,” Grilley said.
Safety is another important topic for the conference, Sanders said, with demonstrations from engineers and manufacturers about how to take care of bicycles, especially during winter.
Sanders said some conference events are open to the public, while others require a purchased pass.