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It is getting easier and more desirable to see new sights by bike thanks to the increasing access to loaner bicycles and bicycle infrastructure all over the world.
Does your next vacation or weekend excursion include riding a bike? It is getting easier and more desirable to see new sights by bike thanks to the increasing access to loaner bicycles and bicycle infrastructure all over the world.
Exploring a new city or town by bicycle was once deemed a fringe activity but has become an attractive and sought-after option. Bicycle travel reaches a wider audience of vacationers seeking fun – even family-friendly – adventures.
Bike share, city bike tours, social rides, bike-friendly hotels, bike maps, events, and attractions that cater to tourists (and locals) arriving by bicycle have all contributed to the fast growth of urban bicycle tourism. There are now more than 600 bike share systems around the world. While rental bikes are more suitable for all-day adventures, bike share gives the option to hop on and hop off throughout the day. Some bike share operators estimate that approximately 20-25 percent of trips on bike share are made by visitors.
Canada and the US are home to more than 120 bike-friendly hotels. Many of these hotels have a loaner fleet of bicycles that guests can borrow during their stay – often included in the price of a room. The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver even has a Bike Butler to help guests sign out bikes and navigate the city’s streets, parks, and seawall. With over 60 city bicycle tours (and growing) throughout the US and Canada, there are plenty of ways to experience one of the most fun options to get to know, and to get around, a city.
Most city tours by bike are 2-3 hours and no more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) long. I always suggest taking a tour at the beginning of your visit to become familiar with your surroundings and take note of places that you want to go back to. If you have yet to experience a city by bicycle, then be sure to consider the bike-friendliness of a place as a factor in your travel plans.
While walking is a fantastic way to take in a new place, you can see so much more in a relatively short time on a bicycle. You do not need to pack anything special to ride; all you may need is advice from a local and your sense of adventure. Do you explore new cities by bike? Share your travel tips with us!