However there are some U.S. cities that are bike rider friendly. Here are some notes on those cities where bicycling is more fun than frustrating.
Best Bike Cities
One of the best-known bike-friendly cities is Davis, CA, a relatively wealthy and well-educated city of about 63,000 near Sacramento, home to the University of California at Davis. The city has taken advantage of flat topography to install a network of bike paths, and its official website offers extensive information on bicycling, including a suggested historic bike tour .
Davis is one of three cities ranked “Platinum” in the most recent ranking by the League of American Bicyclists. The other two are Portland, OR and Boulder, CO.
Portland, a city of 550,000, has been long known for embracing not just bicycling but other forms of non-car transportation. There’s even a website devoted solely to news about bike riding in Portland . You can also get information from the city’s Department of Transportation or Portland Cycling .
Boulder, with about 94,000 residents, is, like Portland and Davis, home to a major university. Both Boulder Magazine and the Boulder Community Network have resources for bike riders, as does the city’s official website .
State capitals in which biking is encouraged include Madison, WI (population 220,000), where you want to talk to the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin Austin, TX (population 680,000), which has a Bicycle Pedestrian Program ; and Minneapolis, MN (population 380,000), which has an official bicycle program.
Big City Biking
Looking for a larger city in which to do your bicycling? Try Chicago, IL (population 2.8 million), where bike riders can consult the Chicagoland Bicycling Federation or the Chicago Department of Transportation or San Francisco, CA (city population 770,000), in which the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is active. In Seattle, WA, (the Department of Transportation estimates that 36 percent of the city’s 520,000 residents are recreational bike riders.
College towns advantages
Cities with large universities tend to accommodate bicycles more easily. See, for example, Tempe, AZ home of Arizona State University, which hosts the Tempe in Motion program ; Gainesville, FL, known for the University of Florida, which has a special Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board ; and Palo Alto, CA, host to Stanford University and a well-developed bicycling program .
What if you’re not in any of these cities? One resource is Critical Mass, an unofficial advocacy program for bike riders, which generally organizes group rides once a month. A list of Critical Mass rides and organizations can be found at the Critical Mass wiki .
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