Remembering Bill Dooley: Ride honors man who changed landscape of biking in Minnesota

Bill Dooley. You may not recognize the name, but depending on where you travel, you’ve likely seen his impact on the biking infrastructure throughout the metro.

He passed away last December and this weekend, there will be a commemorative bike ride in his honor.

"If you go around the city and you look at all the bike lanes and bike trails, Bill had his stamp on all of them," said Louis Moore during an interview with FOX 9's Bisi Onile-Ere.

Moore, who is the president of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota, describes Dooley as a pioneer.

"Bill was involved in many of what you see out in the city right now. These bike lanes at Park and Portland, bike lanes downtown Minneapolis. There’s one on Plymouth Avenue that has concrete barriers. He was involved in all of that planning. He was involved in all of that pushing it to the point where it was going to be financed and finally built," said Moore.

Dooley was a key figure in the development of Minnesota's biking infrastructure. The avid biker and transportation safety advocate passed away last year.  Dooley was a member of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club. Moore peddled alongside him for more than 20 years. "He just believed that the simplest way to get around was by bicycle. It was good for you mentally, it was good for you physically and he would ride winter, spring, summer, rain far, it didn’t make any difference. That was the way that he thought about bicycling," said Moore.

Moore is now gearing up for a special trip.

"One of the things we did this year was create a patch with his image on it," said Moore. The bike club is also partnering with the Hennepin History Museum. "We’re wanting to create spaces for people to tell their stories," said John Crippen, the Executive Director of the Hennepin History Museum. They'll host a commemorative bike ride in Dooley's honor. "We were happy to participate because Bill was one of those people who left an imprint on the community and we’re all about exploring stories of people who have shaped the community that we live in," said Crippen.

Moore says that Dooley was a trailblazer, whose legacy continues to lead the way.

"He’s just a unique individual and if we don’t honor him and make people aware of what he did , then nobody knows anything about anybody. And he’s going to be missed by a lot of people," said Moore.

Minneapolis ranks as one of the best biking cities in the country and Moore credits Dooley for that recognition.

The Bill Dooley Bicycle Safety Act was introduced to state lawmakers this year. Among many things it would require bike safety programs in public schools.

The two-hour commemorative bike ride will take place Saturday, September 30th at 11am at the Hennepin History Museum in Minneapolis. The ride is free, but reservations are required.