2016 has been another great year for bicycling in Sioux Falls. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite moments and events of the past year. These are in no particular order and there are certainly others that could be added to the list. What would you include?
Falls Area Singletrack (FAST)
Falls Area Singletrack has had a fabulous year. FAST gifted Sioux Falls with a new gem of a mountain bike trail in Yankton Trails Park. This one mile loop is a perfect addition to our trail system and provides a fun and easy way to gain confidence on your mountain bike. FAST continues to maintain the trail facilities at Leaders Park for a more challenging ride. FAST also became part of IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) which grants them non-profit status and access to better trail-building resources.
In 2016 bikepacking took Sioux Falls by storm. Groups of laden bicycles headed off on less traveled gravel roads and paths to various parks and destinations. Over 40 bikepackers left Sioux Falls in April for an overnight at The Palisades as part of Two Wheeler Dealer’s Adventure series and the Bikepacking 101 classes. The popular Facebook group Wandering Wieners Bikepacking Brigade began in 2016 and has organized several camping trips all around the area. The Wieners are already planning a host of events for 2017 including a multi-day adventure in the Black Hills. You can join the group here.
Sioux Falls Bicycle Photos
It’s impossible to discount the motivation of seeing other people out having fun on their bicycles. 2016 brought us the new Facebook group Sioux Falls Bicycle Photos curated by Jaron DeWit. Group members spent the year uploading a wide variety of images from all around Sioux Falls. We certainly found ourselves taking more pictures of our bicycles this year. Jaron kept it fun with various photo contest throughout the year. Become a part of the group and start sharing your photos here.
2016 was the year of the women’s ride. Huge numbers of women turned out for rides to the Palisades and Strawbale Winery. All three of our local bike shops hosted popular Women’s Nights. The Thursday Ladies held a variety of popular women’s ride throughout the year. It is said that the number of women on bicycles is a measure of the health of cycling in a community. It looks like Sioux Falls is heading in the right direction!
Bicycle Parking Map
BikeSiouxFalls contributor, Clint Kolda, set out to catalog all the bicycle rack and parking facilities in Sioux Falls. The result is this handy Sioux Falls Bike Rack map. This is still a work in progress and if you see a bike rack not featured on this map, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Bicycle Facilities
Several new bicycle improvements started appearing across Sioux Falls in 2016. These included a citizen led effort by Zach DeBoer to redesign the northern portion of Main Avenue to include bicycle lanes and new reverse diagonal parking. The city added the first cycletrack along West Maple in northwest Sioux Falls. New bike lanes appeared along 69th Street between Minnesota and Cliff. The passage of the Complete Street policy in 2015 has required the city to consider all street users in the design and repair of city streets. Your feedback on these new facilities is crucial as the city tests different designs.
New Rides and Events
New opportunities to ride your bike were abundant in 2016. Most notably, Tour de Brew took to the streets and trails with around 70 riders raising funds and awareness for the Livestrong Foundation. Riders also had the opportunity to test their endurance in the very first Rugged Growler, a 100K ultra cross race in and around Newton Hills and the Canton area. Kids had an opportunity to try out singletrack riding in the first Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day in October. Finally a redefined Elmwood CX, a day of cyclocross racing, came this fall under the leadership of Falls Area Bicyclists.
HB 1073 – Bicyclists Dismount
The 2016 legislative session brought cyclists together to fight off the ill-conceived house bill HB1073. The bill was intended to make cyclists stop, dismount, and move off the road when being overtaken by a vehicle in a non passing zone. Legislators faced a huge outpouring of opposition to the bill from all over the state as cyclists and allies were quick to point out why the bill was dangerous and unnecessary. The bill was effectively killed in committee but not before South Dakota made national news appearing in Bicycling Magazine and others.
Riding bicycles during the winter continued to build in strength in 2016. For the first time the Media One Fun Ski also included a fatbike race at Great Bear. February brought the very first Winter Bike to Work Day. Global Fatbike Day in early December saw nearly 50 riders participate. Finally 2016 saw the addition of groomed fatbike trails in Yankton Trails Park thanks to the volunteers from Falls Area Singletrack.
What else would you include on the list? We could easily add the continued popularity of Tour Sioux Falls, Taco Rides, Cranksgiving, The Riddlebox, RASDAK, FAB’s Tweed Ride, and more. We’re looking forward to a great year of cycling in 2017!