Friendliest US Bicycle Cities
Bike riding has taken a huge spike up since the start of the pandemic, with people looking for safe ways to exercise and get outdoors. It’s also a great way to commute to and from work or your social engagements – you get plenty of exercise and lower your carbon footprint. Everyone can ride a bike – young and old.
Unfortunately, not all cities and suburbs are built the same, meaning not everyone can just grab a bicycle helmet and get peddling. The weather for the area can also play a big part in how happy people are to cycle in a particular city.
Let’s take a look at some of the cities around the US that are the most bicycle-friendly according to a recent study:
1. San Francisco
Many people would be surprised to see San Francisco, California, come out on top of the list.
The hilly city would certainly give anyone a serious workout each time they took their bike out. However, bicycling is very popular in the city and the community of cyclists is quite large. San Francisco also ranks well because of the favorable climate in the area, giving those who want to commute large windows of good weather for it throughout the year.
Portland, Oregon, was a very close second behind San Francisco thanks to the large biking community in the city. It actually ranked first in terms of safety for cyclists thanks to the infrastructure the city has put in place.
Adults use their bicycles to commute to work, while kids head to school and to their friends’ houses on their bikes. This means Melon’s funky range of helmets kids can use around a city are an excellent choice for anyone living in Portland.
3. Fort Collins
Coming in third, you’ll find Fort Collins, Colorado. Here, you’ll also find a lot of people commuting to and from work on bicycles in Portland.
A bonus to having such a large community of cyclists is that there is a strong focus on staying safe on the roads. Bike helmets for women and for men are recommended, and BMX helmets or other similar helmets for kids are also encouraged. This close-knit biking community places a strong focus on looking out for one another.
Oregon did well in the safety and community rankings, with Eugene being the second city to make it into the top 5 friendliest bike cities in the US. As with Portland, the weather not always be that suitable for cycling, but the infrastructure around the city makes cycling a major alternative to traveling via car.
There are plenty of cycling paths around the city, and public spaces with secure bike racks.
Rounding out the top 5 is Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is certainly a city with more extreme weather conditions, making the window for cycling not that big. You certainly couldn’t choose cycling as a regular alternative for commuting throughout the year. However, the city is very friendly towards cyclists in terms of safety and infrastructure.
Next up is Seattle, Washington, which scored fairly well across all aspects of the study. Access for cyclists is good, as well as the safety standards set by the city. Additionally, there is a rather large cycling community that ensures the standards are kept up.
7. Washington D.C.
Finally, we look at Washington, D.C. The capitol might be a surprising entry in the top 10, but it earns it’s spot because of its great cycling infrastructure. The number of commuters who use bicycles in this city is fourth highest in the country. Plus, the city has put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that these cyclists are safe. It’s also advisable that bike helmets for men and women are worn at all times, and helmets for kids are always a good idea too.
The only downside to the city is the extreme fluctuations in weather, from high heat in the summer to severe cold in the winter.
Do you live in one of these cities? If you do – or you plan on visiting soon - put on your bicycle helmet and get going.