Whether you’re just visiting a city in the U.S. or are planning to move there, it’s important for cyclists to consider bike accessibility in their plans. A great biking city makes your time there so much more enjoyable, because you can get from point A to point B while breathing in the fresh air, getting exercise, and taking in the sights and sounds around you.
Riding a bike in a new city is often the quickest way to feel like you’re a local. The following six American cities are particularly friendly to bikes and to cyclists, so be sure to check them out! Each city has plenty of places where you can rent bikes - or you can opt for bringing your own, such as a folding bike, which is easy to carry around and very trendy in big cities. You can check out some of the options on www.foldingbikereviewer.com.
Visit These Bike Friendly Cities In The U.S.
Known as the best city for cyclists in the entire United States, Portland (by no surprise) also boasts the most cyclist per capita in the country. This may also explain why the city does not yet have a bikeshare program yet (though don’t worry, one is in the works) - but fortunately there are a lot of great bike shops that you can visit, like Everybody’s Bike Rental & Tours or Cycle Portland Bike Tours & Rentals. Even if you come with your own bike, check out bike tours in the area: the nature surrounding Portland is wild and spectacular, and you will feel like you have really gotten away!
Not only is Boulder great for cyclists, but you may notice on the roads that you see a lot of really good cyclists riding around. This is because so many athletes come to train on their bikes in the higher altitude! Plus, you can’t beat the incredible view of the Rockies that you get every time you go for a ride. If you’re a mountain biker, the world is your oyster here - check out the Walker Ranch mountain biking trail...or just ride through town and take in the sights. Boulder B-cycle is the city’s very accessible bikeshare program that you can easily take advantage of!
Washington, D.C. is one of the best places in the whole world to ride a bike, thanks to the central location of all the beautiful museums and monuments. With a bike, you can see the National Mall from end to end, stop at museums, visit the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial (which are a bit of a trek on foot) and charming Georgetown. Or get creative and cross Key Bridge to the bike and foot paths along the Virginia side of the Potomac. Capital Bikeshare is a great way to ride around the city without having to worry about taking your bike with you unless you want to.
The idea of biking in New York City may sound terrifying, especially when you think of all those cars and honking taxis. However, the city has made huge improvements in its friendliness to cyclists, starting with CitiBike, the largest bikeshare program in the United States with thousands of bikes available for you to use. Though the city has implemented hundreds of miles of bike lanes, escape the cars and ride on the Hudson River Greenway, an 11-mile long pathway that starts at Battery Park and ends at the southern end of Manhattan.
Bike lovers will feel like they have come home to paradise in Austin because of the existence of a Bike Zoo! It is an interactive park that you can come to with your bike (and take many awesome photos.) To get a good preliminary feel for Austin, definitely make plans to ride along the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, a six-mile bike path that goes through downtown. Or get creative and venture out past city limits to ride for miles and miles through beautiful ranchland.
What better way to enjoy ocean breezes and warm sunshine than on a bike? The city’s downtown area is mostly flat, which makes it easy to ride around. Cyclists really enjoy heading to Balboa Park, where you can take a break for a picnic on the grass or visit a museum. Or bike to Ocean Beach for a day of sand and surf. The city recently launched its bikeshare program, called DecoBike, which is a great way to explore if you don’t have your own wheels.
Planning to go elsewhere? Despite the cold weather in the winter, Minneapolis, Minnesota has a great network of bike routes, while Columbus, Ohio has been working hard to increase funding for bike routes in the city. Tucson, Arizona is also a great destination, as is San Francisco, California.
This article was written by Cathy Trainor.