The logo for Pedal Minnesota, a coalition of eight state-wide interest groups, courtesy of Minneapolis agency Colle+McVoy.

A newly unified database of the state’s miles of bike lanes accompanies the web platform. Crucially, it’s easily accessible on mobile devices.

A newly unified database of the state’s miles of bike lanes accompanies the web platform. Crucially, it’s easily accessible on mobile devices.

"In case you haven’t heard, we’re a really friendly state," says Colle+McVoy Creative Director Eric Husband. "Combine that with the fact that we lead the nation in so many bike stats, we rightfully declared ourselves The Bike Friendly State."

A video campaign of cyclists from the state reenforces the concept.

Minnesota generates over $1 billion in bike-related revenue each year, making it a huge part of their tourism industry.

"Throughout the campaign we always looked for ways to reinforce 'friendly,'" says Husband.

"Throughout the campaign we always looked for ways to reinforce 'friendly,'" says Husband.

"As we all start to recognize the economic impact of bicycling, we’ll undoubtedly see more efforts to increase cycling. Certainly from a tourism perspective," adds Husband. "But also to promote health, sustainable transportation and, here’s a biggie, fun."

Co.Design

Minnesota Courts Cyclists With A New Mobile Platform

Tune-up shelters, mobile apps, and a heart-shaped logo: Welcome to the bike-friendly state.

Cyclists in New York (and pretty much every other state) are used to struggling for the attention of lawmakers. Not so in Minnesota, a state that’s actively courting cyclists—most recently, through Pedal Minnesota, a new campaign aimed at making it easier for locals and tourists to get around by bike.


Minnesota has a reputation for being a particularly easy place to ride a bike, full of famously hardy winter commuters. The state generates over $1 billion in bike-related revenue, more than hunting and snowmobiling combined, says Eric Husband, creative director at Colle+McVoy, the Minneapolis ad agency behind Pedal Minnesota.

A coalition of eight public partners (including the Minnesota DOT, DOH, and several tourism boards) approached the agency about designing an identity and web platform for the alliance last year. Husband describes the design process as miraculously smooth. "You’d think with so many partners, it would be hard to reach consensus," he says over email. "But a shared passion for biking led the way." Aww. The logo reflects the good vibes—a heart-shaped frame, sandwiched between two wheels. A warm color palette, and a slogan that gives a nod to Minnesota’s famed hospitality ("The Bike Friendly State"), rounds out the design. "Black might work in New York, but it’s not the first thing you think of in the Land of 10,000 Lakes."

Colle+McVoy took pains to design a mobile-friendly website, which includes smartphone accessible maps of the state’s routes. "By using responsive design, the site can be completely utilized by bikers on the go," explains Husband. A website of neatly organized resources, like advice on commuting with kids and a searchable calendar of events and group rides, completes the web presence.

One of the coolest things about the project is the "tune-up shelters" now popping up around the state. By retrofitting existing bus stops with multi-tools, maps, and pumps, the team found a way to offer universal access to necessities at a fairly low cost. Plus, the tools are all bought from local bike shops. "Of course, the tune-up shelters were a hit," says Husband. "We’ve also have had a ton of inquiries on wearables—people are asking our partners where they can get T-shirts. Bicyclists love their schwag."

With over $1 billion in annual revenue in Minnesota and swarms of merch-hungry cyclists, bike culture is becoming an economic force to be reckoned with. So why don’t more local governments support it, again? Husband thinks the tide is slowly turning. "As we all start to recognize the economic impact of bicycling, we’ll undoubtedly see more effort," he says. "Certainly from a tourism perspective. But also to promote health, sustainable transportation and, here’s a biggie, fun."

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4 Comments

  • Jamie

    add Bike sales to tourism dollars spent while on the bike, food lodging trail passes all the things we do when cycling down the trails in ten years a billion will seem small compared to the impact a single ride like RAGBRAI brings to a State, 3 million per day estimates the DeMoines register in direct bspending by some 15,000 riders and a few thousand crew/volunteers. if you went to an event like the Nature  Valley gran prix you were one of several thousand who spent gas money to get here, stayed somewhere overnight, ate out several meals bought a souviner,and probly had a beer or two.Fun adds up.

  • Dave

    Kurt, good question...

    "We’re home to the biggest bicycle parts supplier in North America and,
    presumably, the world; the largest bike tool manufacturer; two of the
    nation’s leading bike retailers; the largest distributor of road biking
    goods and apparel; one of the premier triathlon shops in the country;
    and the list of superlatives could go on." excerpt from "Inside Minnesota's Booming Bike Economy" by Fred Mayer

    http://www.minnesotabusiness.c...

    Through manufacturing, the state can make a lot of scratch, but its great to see them putting some of it back into the consumer end of the economic "cycle".