11 Best Bike-Friendly Cities in America 2021

Are you visiting a new city this summer and are wondering how easy it will be to get around on a bike? Here are the 13 most bike-friendly cities in America.

Not only is biking convenient, it’s also a cost-effective method of transportation. Additionally, get a good work out in when you choose biking over Uber or public transit.

Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic or even worse, stuck in traffic on a packed bus. These bike-friendly cities around the U.S. are great for both visitors and locals.

Why is a bike-friendly city important?

A bike-friendly city is important because it relates to the quality of life and health of the residents. Additionally, biking helps the economy! (check out the video)

Cities with poor public transit and congested streets can actually lead to higher stress. Having appropriate bike lanes means less cars on the road, less air pollution and people are getting more physical activity.

Many cities all over the country are setting budgets for creating bike-lanes to help ease traffic on highly travelled streets. Not only is this good for the residents, it is also a huge benefit for businesses.

People can hop on and off their bikes with ease, which creates more foot traffic for local businesses. These bike paths can be for both commuting and recreational use, both of which help combat climate change.

11 most bike-friendly cities in america

Let’s take a look at cities that are most bike-friendly. We have collected data from Walk Score and from local bike-related news sources.

bike friendly cities in the US
Lakefront Chicago | Robert V. Ruggiero

1. Portland, Oregon

This west coast city was given a “platinum” rating for its bike friendly community from the League of American Bicyclists. Additionally, Bicycling magazine named Portland the #1 bike-friendly city.

Walk Score’s Bike Score gave Portland an 82 for its bike-friendliness. The reason behind this ranking is due to the increase amounts for bike parking and bike paths.

There is over 385 miles of bike lanes throughout Portland and they add more each year. Not only can you bike all over the city, you can park basically anywhere. With over 6,500 parking spots as well as intersections with bike-related traffic signals.

2. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago has some of the most extensive biking paths in the country. With more than 200 miles of pike lanes, including 20 miles of lakefront paths. Additionally, there are plans to build up to 645 miles of bike networks.

Not only can you bike anywhere in the city, there is also 13,000 bike racks and you can join one of the 54 bike clubs that run within the city. Chicago has a long history of supporting bicycling which dates back to the 1860s.

It has a Bike Score of 73, this city is one of the best places to bike in America. If you don’t want to bike in the city, there are even mountain bike trails through Clark Park and all around the Waterfall Glen Preserve.

3. San Francisco, California

Only 10 years ago, this city didn’t have any protected bike lanes but now  protected paths run all over. San Francisco is investing over $100 million to bike paths and bike parking.

Despite the enormous and daunting hills, this is city offers almost 450 miles of bikes lanes. Not all are protected but the city is planning on implementing more in the near future.

With a Bike Score of 72, you can bike all over the iconic city and observe the gorgeous views. in addition to city biking, there is plenty of opportunity for mountain biking, ocean-front cycling and even head over the Golden Gate Bridge.

4. Seattle, Washington

One of the best bike-friendly cities in America is Seattle Washington. Great for those who commute or just want to get out for a recreational cruise.

The city is growing rapidly and so its cycling infrastructure. You don’t even need to own a bike in Seattle. Just download the Jump app and start riding.

With a Bike Score of 70, this is very bike friendly city. All busses are equipped to carry bikes as well. Additionally, many businesses around the city offer discounts if you have a special bike benefits helmet sticker! 

best biking cities in America
Jump Bike-share | Adam Thomas

5. Austin, Texas

Austin has a huge Bike Score of 92 which makes it one of the most ideal cities for a cyclist. Whether its commuting, running errands or recreation, you can basically do anything on a bike.

Not only does Austin have a great Bike Score, it has won 10 big Jump Grants from People For Bikes. This famously bike-friendly city has made huge commitments to cyclists.

With new protected bike lanes constantly popping up, some cyclists have biked over 4,900 miles of the big city. Additionally, there is a bike share program here as well. Austins, B-Cycle program has bike stations located all over the city for easy pick up and drop off.

6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

One the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. goes to Minneapolis. It has a huge network of bike paths and continues to make plans for the future.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minneapolis was rated 2nd for bike-commuting. Boasting a Bike Score of 82, this city is great for all bikers. Providing both protected and unprotected lanes, any skill level of cyclist can enjoy this city.

Enjoy off road adventures or cruise through the city. There is something for everyone!

7. Madison, Wisconsin

Biking is one of the preferred methods of transportation for Madison, Wisconsin. The narrow roads and oddly-shaped downtown area is awkward for most vehicles. However, this makes it ideal for cyclists.

Madison has a long history of promoting biking, with off-street and painted laneways. Additionally, there is even signs up on many roadways that show distances and travel times.

With its Platinum rating from the League of American Bicyclists and Bike Score of 65, it is a great city for those looking to bike around.

bike friendly cities in US
Running Errands | Boxed Water Is Better

8. Denver, Colorado

One of the most bike-able cities in America is Denver! The Mile High City prioritizes bike-programs highly and puts huge amount of dedication into city-wide cycling.

Their comfort bikeways not only reduces traffic but also has shown massive reductions in deaths and injuries. With a Bike Score of 73, you can walk, city-bike and go off-roading with ease.

By 2023, Denver has plans to increase bike paths by 125 miles. This mountainous city is often a popular destination for seasoned bikers and even hosts professional races.

Related: 10 Places to Visit Before It’s Too Late 

9. Tucson, Arizona

Circle the city on the 130 mile loop or go street biking in Tucson, Arizona. This city boasts a huge network of on-street bike lanes.

Not only is it a great city for commuters, it is wonderful for recreational cyclists and out of town visitors. Additionally, it is a great spot for mountain biking. A 100 mile trail is just 20 minutes outside of town.

Tucson’s Bike Score is 72, making it one of the most bike-friendly cities in America. It has also won several awards for it’s bike-friendly streets. Insurify named it one of 2021 Best Bicycling Cities due it it’s infrastructure, commuting and low incident rates.

10. Portland, Maine

This east coast city is known for being biking and walking friendly. It’s small downtown area makes it not only efficient but easy to bike when running errands.

Accordingly to Outdoor Magazine, Portland, Maine is one of the most bike-able cities in the U.S.. Additionally, it has received a bike score of 81! Not only does it have an extensive bike path networks it also has bike rentals.

with many ocean front paths and off-roading trails, Portland Maine is a bikers paradise!

bike-friendly cities in America
NYC, NY Biking | Kevin Ku

11.  New York City, New York

This massive city is considered one of the best bike-friendly cities in America. With more than 1,200 miles of bike lanes and routes, it is quite the adventure.

New York City is known as extremely walkable and has some of the best public transit. Additionally, it has become a bikers haven as well. Cyclists can even travel throughout central park, of course sharing the paths with pedestrians.

Despite the huge advancements in bike infrastructure, biking within the city can still be very dangerous. Due to its heavy traffic and aggressive drivers, practicing caution on shared roads is crucial.

Read More:

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