R.T. Rybak rolled to a stop on his rental bikeas he approached East Locust Street. It was about 4:45 p.m. A couple carspassed before the street cleared and he could pedal on.

“This is rush hour?" he asked."Congratulations.”

The former mayor of Minneapolis, Rybak is often credited with helping make the city one of the most bike-friendly in the nation. It has a gold rating from the League of American Cyclists, while Des Moines has a lowly bronze rating.

He visited Des Moines on Wednesday for a forum on walkability and spent an hour biking around downtown with city officials, bike advocates and me.

In addition to traffic envy, he had some questions, some advice and a general sense of optimism about our city's biking potential.


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