The Most and Least Bike-Friendly Cities in America
When it comes to determining if a city is welcoming to cyclists, there are many things to consider. Safety, connectedness to city resources, and availability of bike lanes are all important factors. Recreational areas like parks and bike paths also are appealing to recreational cyclists.
The Tower Electric Bikes research team set out to discover the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. as well as the least bike-friendly cities. To reach our conclusion, we analyzed several important metrics, including the percentage of the workforce that uses a bicycle to commute, the percentage of the population that rides bikes recreationally, the cyclist fatality rate, and the cycling connectedness of the city to resources like schools, grocery stores, and retail stores.
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The Most Bike-Friendly Cities in America
Based on our analysis, these are the ten most bike-friendly cities in the country as well as their Bike Friendliness Score:
1. Crested Butte, CO (320.33)
2. Stanford, CA (288.57)
3. Provincetown, MA (288.40)
4. Berkeley, CA (281.29)
5. Davis, CA (272.27)
6. Santa Monica, CA (263.95)
7. Boulder, CO (259.98)
8. Arlington, VA (259.58)
9. Cambridge, MA (253.97)
10. Ferndale, MI (249.18)
At the top of the list is Crested Butte in Colorado. This small town is a haven for cyclists and claims to have created the sport of mountain biking. It even used to be home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame! In addition to having scenic biking trails, the city has a high number of bicycle commuters and a very well-connected bike accessibility network. It is certainly one of the best places to bike in America.
The Least Bike-Friendly Cities in America
On the other end of the spectrum, these are the ten cities we found to be the least hospitable to cyclists along with their Bike Friendliness Score:
1. Los Angeles, CA (86.36)
2. Houston, TX (120.86)
3. Phoenix, AZ (133.76)
4. Chicago, IL (138.88)
5. San Bernardino, CA (140.21)
6. Santa Ana, CA (142.28)
7. Jacksonville, FL (144.52)
8. San Elizario, TX (144.61)
9. San Antonio, TX (146.97)
10. Miami, FL (147.26)
According to our research, Los Angeles is the least bike-friendly city in the country. There are many recreational cyclists who take advantage of the city’s bike trails, but a high cyclist fatality rate, low number of bike commuters, and lack of resource connectivity make it difficult for cyclists to get around. Los Angeles’s busy streets are not the most welcoming for cyclists.
Different Types of Bikes
While there are a variety of racing and touring bicycles on the market, the average American is likely to have a utility bike, mountain bike, or electric bike.
Utility bikes are the most common type of bicycle and the type most people have in their garage. Characterized by their comfort and practicality, they are perfect for traveling on flat roads in urban areas.
Mountain bikes are designed for off-road cycling. They have large tires and sturdy wheels that are capable of handling rough terrain. They also feature a suspension fork that allows for a safe and comfortable ride on dirt and rocks.
While hardcore cyclists may commute to work on a traditional utility bike, electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular among commuters. They require no gas, produce no pollution, and have a range of 30 to 60 miles, meaning that the daily commute is a breeze. They are generally regarded as the best bike for city riding.