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Published May 22, 2012

Washington leads bike-friendly states ranking • Shimano Europe donates €50k to Make-A-Wish • Minnesota high school leagues readies for debut

WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN) Tuesday May 22 2012 1:43 PM MT—For the fifth year in a row, Washington is the top state on the League of American Bicyclist's Bicycle Friendly ranking. While Washington remains at the top of the list, there was some movement on the ranking, with Colorado and Delaware joining the top-10 for the first time.

"We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts," said Andy Clarke, president of the League. "But, as the scores clearly highlight, there's much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and funding. Overall, we see states — and especially state departments of transportation and state legislatures — lagging behind cities and the expectations of local cyclists, despite the many well-documented benefits of a more active lifestyle."

The 2012 rankings mark the launch of an updated and improved evaluation process. Throughout 2011, the League held Bicycle Friendly America listening sessions across the country to understand the successes and shortcomings of the program. Based on public input, the Bicycle Friendly State survey was revised to give a clearer picture of a state's accomplishments and next steps towards becoming more bike-friendly.

With support from the highest levels of government, Washington leads the nation in creating new bicycle infrastructure and using federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

"People in the Pacific Northwest embrace bicycling as part of a lifestyle that honors the environment, healthier living and transportation choices," said Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire. "This title once again confirms that we're on the right track, supporting bicycling as a transportation option in our communities."

More information:

Shimano Europe donates €50k to Make-A-Wish

NUNSPEET, Netherlands (BRAIN) Tuesday May 22 2012 1:31 PM MT—Shimano Europe Group has donated 50,000 euros ($64,000) to the Make-A-Wish Nederland foundation.

Each year Shimano Europe asks its employees to suggest charities for the company to donate to. Make-A-Wish fulfills wishes of children between 3 and 18 years old that have a life-threatening disease. Since 1989 they have fulfilled the wishes of more than 4,000 sick children.

Minnesota high school league readies for debut

BLOOMINGTON, MN (BRAIN) Tuesday May 22 2012 1:58 PM MT—The first race in the Minnesota High School Cycling League's debut is only 15 weeks away, and teams throughout the state are being formed and registered. Teams already registered with the league include Anoka, Burnsville-Lakeville, Cannon Valley, Rochester, Minneapolis Washburn, East St. Paul Metro, White Bear Lake and Grand Forks, ND.

Some of the teams are being formed by women interested in supporting the new league. "In a sport that is traditionally dominated by male participation, it's cool that several of our teams are being formed by women," said state league director Gary Sjoquist.

Team meeting locations and contact information will be posted at

The Minnesota League is supported by local sponsors Penn Cycle, Mt. Borah, HealthPartners Orthopedic & Sports Medicine and Erik's Bike and Board Shop. Additional support is provided by founding national sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components, as well as SRAM, Trek Bicycles, Jeep, Clif Bar and Co., SIDI, Primal Wear, GU Sports, Maxxis, QBP, Adidas, Kinetic, Fox Racing Shox, CamelBak, Dirt Rag, SIDI, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College and Mountain Bike Action.

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