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Data Bike to Monitor Condition of Metro Trails

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IOWA  --  A new tool hitting the pavement in the metro area should make for smoother riding on the hundreds of miles of bike trails.

The Data Bike is like a Google map vehicle for bike trails.

The bike is outfitted with cameras and sensors to record the condition of whatever road it;s riding on, identifying every crack in the pavement or intersection in need of work. The Des Moines Metropolitan Planning Organization plans to deploy it over all 600 miles of trails in the metro area. Right now, the organization is still training on the bike, but says it will be deployed soon.

"Hopefully they'll be seeing it on the trail this summer, so don't be surprised by the antenna sticking up, taking photos, but you know, it's a good-looking bike," said Marcus Coenen.

Organizers hope to use the bike to check every inch of metro trails each summer.