Given the technology-crazed social life that we live in today, it may come to your surprise, or it may not, that we, Americans are buying less cars. Companies like Uber are banking on the fact that ‘millennials’ and city-dwellers value convenience over the hassle of owning and being responsible for a car.
So what exactly does that mean?
If people aren’t using cars, then they’re getting around somehow, and it looks like it’s by bike. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, biking to work has increased nationwide by 60% in the last ten years. Some cities are even building bike paths to accommodate the increased flow of riders.
This is where I started to think about where are the best places to bike. I have ridden through my fair share of cities, and while some are accommodating, they are not necessarily safe. So, if you dream of being or are an avid biker, or looking for a new place to call home, then let me make the task of searching easier for you. Check out this list of the five most bike-friendly cities in the United States. These cities celebrate bikers with convenient paths, exciting trails, and most importantly are safe for riding. If biking is important to you, then you may want to consider moving to one of these cities for yourself.
Can anyone say road trip….oh, I mean bike trip!
Boulder is a beautiful city, better yet…gorgeous. This city made the list because it’s one of the few cities that advocates for more bikers. With over 300 miles of bike paths, this may be one of the most family-friendly and bike-friendly places. If you plan on commuting to work, you won’t feel out of place as it’s the norm in Boulder. With its extensive web of bike paths throughout the city, cyclists and pedestrians can whiz through traffic and stoplights while riding on one of Boulder’s 78 underpasses.
You may have already guessed that Portland was going to be on this list, but it’s with good reason. Portland has more cyclists per capita than any other city in the U.S. More than 17,000 people use their bike to get from their homes to work, to the grocery store or wherever every day. The city is full of bike lanes and offers tons of bike maps for those looking to navigate the city. With over 5,000 publicly installed bike racks and bike-specific traffic signals at 15 busy intersections, riding a bike is simple when in Portland.
San Francisco, California
This pick could have been your last choice for the list, but again it made here for great reason. While San Francisco is a pricey city, with hills that will make your sore after one day, it still thrives with plenty of bikers. This beautiful city supports a strong community of bike lovers and even a government that heavily supports the rights of bikers. Ask yourself this, is biking going to work, visiting the lush parks, eating mission burritos or even enjoying one of the many views of the beautiful bay worth biking over large hills?
In recent years, Minneapolis has made great strides to become more bike-friendly. With the launch of the Nice Ride bike-share system in 2010 and the completion of the 4.25-mile Cedar Lake Regional Trail (dubbed “America’s first bike freeway”) in 2011. The city also added 35 miles of bike lanes and installed four bike-boulevard corridors, with plans to build more. Before you think to yourself, why would I ever go to Minneapolis, think why wouldn’t. The city, surprisingly known for its health and good food, it’s also home to 197 lush parks and let’s not forget The Mall of America (is it still open?).
Philadelphia is quickly moving up the ranks to becoming one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Being one of the ten biggest cities in the nation, Philadelphia has the largest number of bicycle commuters per capita. The city is easy to navigate on a bike with over 435 miles of bike lanes available and the recent launch of Indego, the city’s first bike-sharing program. The industrious city is packed to the brim with culture, whether it’s old or new. Its close proximity to NY, but cheaper living is one of the largest attractions for newcomers. Home to Philly’s baseball team and Urban Outfitters headquarters, the steak and cheese subs will never run dry in this bike-friendly city.
Did any cities stand out for you or you do want to add a city to the list? Let us know or just get out there and start biking!