By Carrie Swiggum & Aretha Munro
Travelling to any city on a bike makes it a great place to be, but some cities prove better than others. These urban centers were judged using the following criteria: the percentage of commuters; the presence of online bike resources and advocacy groups; the level of support for cycling at the municipal level, and the quality of their public bike share system, if applicable. The prevalence of bicycle-friendly businesses, including hotels with loaner bike services; a high number of group rides and events; and the amount of things to see and do by bike were also factors in determining our top 10.
Portland has the highest percentage of commuters and kids that ride to school. A 12-mile trail connects the airport to the city. Cyclists can get discounts from businesses, loaner bikes from local hotels and information about everything bicycle-related from BikePortland.org.
San Francisco, CA
Critical Mass started here in the early 1990s and so did (Park)ing Day in 2005 – a project that transforms one metered parking space into a temporary park for a day. Since 2006, the number of commuters has increased by 58 percent, and as of 2008, there were 200 miles (322 kms) of bike networks in the 49-square-mile (127-square-km) city.
Take the 11-mile (18-km) trail around the lakes and then jump in on a hot day! If you’re new to the city or just there for a visit, join the inclusive cycling community on MplsBikeLove.com.
Montreal’s BIXI bike share system revolutionized the bicycle sharing experience in North America in the spring of 2009. The Montreal Bike Fest is in its 26th year and includes a ride that takes you through 30 miles (48 kms) of car-free streets.
There are over 300 miles (483 kilometers) of
bike trails in this town of 100,000 people, you can get anywhere on a bike. On Thursdays, cyclists get together and cruise around the city sometimes in costume, shouting “Happy Thursday!” to passersby.
Find a plethora of coffee shops to park at and explore Seattle-based bike websites to find things to do on two wheels. Stop by this year in June for the second Spoke & Food event, billed as an evening of dining and bikes.
Bike-centered events include an overnight ride through Chicago’s neighborhoods. Bike the Drive in May has drawn close to 20,000 cyclists. The McDonald’s Cycle Center is a bike station that offers repair, rentals, showers, lockers and parking for 300 bicycles.
Vancouver’s seawall is the perfect place to
take a leisurely cruise along beaches. Two
weeks in June are devoted to Velopalooza, a yearly cycling event featuring group rides, food and movies.
In 2005, Davis received the first platinum-level-city designation in the US by the League of American Bicyclists. Last year, Davis residents set a world record for the longest single line of bicycles during the World’s Greatest Bicycle Parade – over 1,000 bicycles in a row!
Pedal from street food vendor to vendor, tasting the local delicacies. Join one of the group rides taking place every day of the week and visit Lance Armstrong’s very own Mellow Johnny’s bike shop.
New York City, NY
Mexico City, Mexico