If you prefer to get around on two wheels instead of four, check out Walk Score’s list of the top 10 bikeable cities in the United States.
Here is a countdown of the top bikeable cities and a look at why they made the list.
If you’re in the market for an apartment, knowing their Bike Score might help you pick the city where you can live on wheels!
For the avid cyclist, having a safe city to bike around in is a high priority. According to the website, the Bike Score of a city is determined based on factors including the bike-friendliness of the terrain, how many bike lanes have been established, and how many people commute via bike there. Basically, the higher the number, the better the biking!
10. Chicago, IL: 61.5 (out of 100)
Chicago, IL, comes in at number 10 in the country on the most bikeable cities list. This is in large part to the city’s “Bike 2015” plan, a city government initiative to increase bicycle use and safety in Chicago. The program is implementing many measures to make the streets of Chicago more bikeable, like adding bike parking across the city.
9. New York, NY: 62.3
New York, NY, has long had an active and vocal cycling community, with nonprofit organizations such as Bike New York working to keep the city bikeable. New York has now launched Citibike, an affordable bike sharing system where bikes are placed in the city at predetermined spots. You can rent a bike for a day or a week, and return it at any Citibike rack in the city.
8. Tucson, AZ: 64.1
The mild climate in Tucson, AZ, makes for perfect biking weather nearly year-round. Add to that the multitude of bike-friendly streets and the no-cars-allowed Urban Loop, and you’ve got a cycler’s paradise.
7. Seattle, WA: 64.1
In 2007, Seattle, WA, introduced its Bicycle Master Plan, a city-wide plan to make Seattle streets more bikeable and safer for cyclists by 2017. The Seattle Department of Transportation also offers a popular free biking map of the city that is available in paper form or online in an interactive trip-planning version.
6. Washington, D.C.: 65.3
The nation’s capital is full of bike paths and flat terrain, making Washington, D.C., easy to get around by bike. The Capital Bikeshare program lets you try out biking the city from 58 locations. You can test the waters before buying a bike of your own!
5. Boston, MA: 67.8
Boston, MA, has long been known for being friendly to alternative forms of transportation, so it’s no surprise that it is a top bikeable city. The city even offers awards to businesses that make it easier for employees and customers to ride instead of drive.
4. Philadelphia, PA: 68.4
Philadelphia, PA, is already a top bikeable city, but the city is raising the bar even further with its Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan. Dedicated to safety and encouragement, the plan aims at prioritizing pedestrian and bicycle improvements to city streets, policies and programs.
3. Denver, CO: 69.5
Denver, CO, boasts 300 days of annual sunshine, the largest city park system in the country, 650 miles of paved off-road bike trails and many bikeable city streets. It’s no wonder that cyclists are thrilled to live in the Mile High City.
2. San Francisco, CA: 70.0
San Francisco, CA, has a temperate climate, making it an ideal bikeable city. Though tourists might be turned off by the city’s famous hills, residents know that the lack of cheap parking make cycling a wonderful alternative to driving.
1. Portland, OR: 70.3
Topping the list of top bikeable cities is Portland, OR. This beautiful city offers a fabulous backdrop for cyclists commuting to work or just out for a leisurely ride. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is dedicated to making the city a safe and friendly place for cyclists to ride, with plenty of programs and resources in place to support cyclists of all ages and skill sets.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Mel-nik