Biking is a great way to see a new city or further explore the city you currently live in.
While more municipalities in the U.S. are seeing the benefits of investing in bike lanes and launching bike-share programs, some are simply ahead of the pack.
Interested in knowing where those top biking cities in the U.S. are located?
We’ve done the research and found some obvious, but also some not-so-obvious, cities that we believe are some of the most bike-friendly places in the country.
Here are the 10 most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.
With the glorious Flatirons as your personal backdrop, Boulder, Colorado consistently ranks as one of the top towns for cyclists when it comes to overall ridership, safety, size of its bike network, and the city’s overall commitment to making biking even more accessible in the future.
The Colorado college town features more than 300 miles of designated bike lanes and mountain biking trails that stretch hundreds of miles. And if you want to take a ride to cute neighboring town Louisville, hop on the US-36 Bikeway, which is hailed as a highway for bicyclists.
Most importantly, with the Rocky Mountains in your backyard, you have the option to mountain bike on weekends and road bike on the city’s well-planned network during the week.
No bike? No problem. There are more than 300 cruisers available to rent for a mere $8 for 24 hours of use from 47 kiosks scattered around the town. Oh, and get this – there are vending machines around Boulder where you can buy accessories for your ride.
Home of the great Steve Prefontaine, Eugene, Oregon, is more than a town for runners.
From fully-lit bike paths for safe riding at night to the city’s innovative Smart Ways to School program, in addition to a bevy of bike racks and parking options, Eugene, Oregon, home to the University of Oregon, is an incredible city for cycling.
Here are some key stats around its bike network :
- 46 miles of shared-use paths
- 187 miles of on-street bicycle lanes
- 71 miles of signed bikeways/neighborhood greenways
- 5 bicycle-pedestrian bridges over the Willamette River
- 2 bicycle-pedestrian bridges over major roads/highways
As you ride around Eugene, make sure to stop into neighboring Springfield, which also boasts an impressive bike network.
Manhattan, New York
The hustle and bustle of the borough of Manhattan in New York City might have you wondering how bike-friendly it really is, but rest assured that the city that doesn’t sleep has done an incredible job over the past decade to encourage more cycling in a safe way.
There are more than 330 miles of on-street biking routes, 82 of which feature dedicated bike lanes. You need that many when there’s an estimated 1.6 million New Yorkers regularly riding their bikes.
In May 2013, the city launched its bike-share initiative, Citi Bike, which is the largest in the nation. The program is helpful for New Yorkers who may not own a bike (or who have the storage in their studio apartments to store a bike), in addition to tourists who want to cut down on taxi rides and Uber fees.
While you may not want to bike Minneapolis year-round due to the fact that it gets pretty darn cold in the winter, the Twin Cities feature an impressive bike network to enjoy during the warmer seasons.
While the bike routes are beautiful, it’s the advocacy for safe riding that puts Minneapolis on this list. As part of the city’s comprehensive planning document for the future, Minneapolis 2040 puts a focus on a people-first transportation system. That means more protected bike lanes and incentives for commuters to cut down on the city’s carbon footprint.
Real estate company Redfin has ranked Minneapolis their top town for biking two years in a row. One agent, James Garry, said bike culture is important to many homebuyers today.
“Homebuyers moving to Minneapolis from a different area are always pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to bike everywhere here,” Garry said. “The streets have dedicated bike lanes, many of which connect to suburban trails, and a lot of companies provide locker and shower facilities for bike commuters.”
Bar Harbor, Maine
The nation’s most friendly bike cities aren’t necessarily major metropolitan areas. And beautiful Bar Harbor, Maine is the perfect example.
Come summertime, Bar Harbor, Maine is a cyclist’s paradise. There are a handful of great bike shops for daily rentals if you’re a tourist, and the streets are also wide enough (and slow enough) for bikes to easily share with cars.
While you’ll have a blast biking to lunch for a lobster roll, it’s Bar Harbor’s proximity to Acadia National Park where you’ll have full access to 45 miles of multi-use gravel carriage trails.
Acadia is one of the best National Parks for gravel grinders. If you don’t want to worry about driving to Acadia, outdoor apparel company L.L. Bean actually provides a free bus between Bar Harbor and the park.
Greenville, South Carolina
Cyclists in Greenville, South Carolina use the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 20-mile path of connected networked and abandoned rail lines along the Reedy River, to get in their miles.
But Greenville’s designation as a top cycling town is also due to the government’s commitment to increasing ridership and making it easier for cyclists to share the road with cars.
Established in 2006, Bikeville is the city’s bike-friendly community initiative. The Swamp Rabbit Trail came out of this initiative, but also a handy bike-share service.
If you want to rent a specific type of bike, local shop Reedy Rides will actually deliver it to where you’re staying if you’re visiting Greenville on vacation. They’ll also take you on the Swamp Rabbit Rail tour, followed by brunch.
Burlington, Vermont is another great small town for cycling that shouldn’t be ignored.
There are seven different bike trail systems along the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, and the Riverside Bike Path connects the city to neighboring Winooski by way of the Winooski Bridge.
One of the coolest parts of cycling in Burlington, though, is its proximity to Quebec, Canada. You can take the Island Line Bike Ferry to the Champlain Islands and then into Quebec. Make sure you bring a passport with you!
Traverse City, Michigan
One of the best-kept secrets for cycling in the U.S. is found in Northern Michigan.
Located on Grand Traverse Bay, which feeds into Lake Michigan, Traverse City features breathtaking water views for cyclists. Those views start on the 10.5-mile-long TART trail, which is shared with joggers and cyclists. The trail runs east and west through Traverse City and into neighboring Leelanau County. Once in Leelanau County, you can hop on the Leelanau Trail, which takes you 17 miles north to Suttons Bay, the perfect quaint little town to enjoy lunch during your long ride day.
Of course, winters get snowy and cold, but the cycling fun doesn’t stop come January. Many locals embrace fat tire bikes for their morning commutes. They’ll even get adventurous and head to the Natural Area at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons for a great mountain biking opportunity. The steep ascents are tough, but you’re rewarded with a stunning view of West Bay.
Fifteen miles southwest of Traverse City is Interlochen, where you can hop on the Lost Lake Pathway, a 6.4-mile trail loop perfect for mountain bikers looking for a single-track opportunity. It’s a great place for beginners to learn how to mountain bike.
Seattle has more than 400 miles of bike lanes in the city limits alone, making it perfect for commuters who don’t want a car in this expensive metropolitan area.
Once you get outside the corporate limits, the Burke-Gilman Trail is one of the most popular biking trails in the country. Follow 18 miles along the Pacific Ocean coastline for a challenging, but rewarding ride with incredible views.
If you’re just hanging out in the city on vacation, though, pick up a full-day rental from Pedal Anywhere and ride to Pike Place Market for lunch and shopping.
Despite dropping popular rankings for top biking towns in recent years, Portland is still one of the best when it comes to bicycling.
The city recently finished building an additional 25 miles of protected bike lanes and many bikers report feeling quite safe commuting to work or when tooling around on weekends.
One of the crown jewels of Portland’s commitment to biking is Biketown, an awesome bike-sharing program sponsored by Nike featuring more than 1,500 bikes across 180 stations. We recommend riding the Eastbank Esplanade trail for one of the more scenic rides in PDX.