One of the finest ways to see American cities is on two wheels. Seeing the sights by bike is the ideal option for casual cyclists who want to get a closer look at what our cities have to offer, while keeping active on your vacation. There are many great places for cyclists of all skill levels to have fun in the United States. This post will help you to find them.
Here’s a rundown of some of the finest cycling destinations in the USA, tips on making the most of your time in each city, and an analysis of what makes cycling there so unique.
Cycling in San Francisco
The city of San Francisco is a cyclist’s paradise. The city has worked to build infrastructure to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe. Already it has completed over 700 miles of bicycle lanes and 26 miles of on-street bike routes as a part of Vision Zero, a program to ensure that every person can travel to their destination safely.
And there is no need to bring your own bike; instead, take advantage of one of the many bike share programs and rental shops available.
Just a few of the amazing sights to see on your bike include Golden Gate Park, the Great Highway Bike Path along the Pacific Coast and of course you can’t miss crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on two wheels!
Just across the bridge, you’ll find beautiful rides at Muir Woods in Mill Valley and Angel Island State Park in Tiburon.
Bicycles are a significant part of life in Portland, Oregon. Portland is so bike-friendly that the locals have given it the moniker “Bike City, USA.” With many residents commuting to work by bike, the city has many miles of bike lanes, including over 35 miles of protected and buffered lanes, neighborhood greenways, and paths.
You are sure to find a route to some wonderful sites. There are bike share opportunities, rental shops, and guided tours to choose from.
Some great rides to consider while you’re in Portland: The Classic Waterfront Loop, Laurelhurst Park and the Eastbank Esplanade. If you are looking for more adventure, you can check out rides in Columbia River Gorge.
Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota
The twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are often regarded as two of the nation’s most accommodating environments for bicyclists. Bicycling Magazine ranked the Twin Cities as the top riding destinations in the United States, ahead of other notable contenders like New York and Portland.
Together, the cities are home to slightly over 3 million people. Yet, they provide residents access to 500 miles of bike lanes, greenways, and many trails that wind through parks and other natural areas.
In Minneapolis, you can tour the Chain of Lakes on connected bike trails. The Minnehaha Creek trail will take you to the famous Minnehaha Falls and allow you to access the Mississippi River. In St. Paul, catch part of the Mississippi River Trail through Hidden Falls Park.
Bike riding is growing in popularity in Chicago, and the city is quickly changing to meet cyclists’ needs. There are more than 200 miles of bike paths in the city.
Two of them are the Lakefront Trail, which runs along the shores of Lake Michigan, and the 606 (formerly Bloomingdale Trail), an elevated park that runs for 2.7 miles along an old railroad line. Chicago has many fun weekly rides, like Critical Mass on Monday nights and the Tour de Fat on Wednesday nights. These group bike rides are great ways to hang out with friends and family.
New York City, New York
Even though you might think New York isn’t exactly a cyclist’s paradise, it’s well worth a cyclist’s time to explore the city. The city is huge, has a lot to see and do, and is set up to handle all the cyclists who live there.
With the installation of bike lanes, greenways, and bike-sharing services there are an increasing number of opportunities to explore.
Check out the Brooklyn Greenway, Central Park, or the Hudson River Greenway, all while burning calories and beating the traffic.
Denver is a great place for cyclists of all skill levels to visit because its busy downtown is easy to get around by bike. In the warmer months, the city’s bike trails connect the various neighborhoods and provide a safe and enjoyable way to get about while also providing breathtaking panoramas. Parks and other green places in the region are great for taking a leisurely spin while enjoying some fresh air and a little peace.
The Platter River Trail connects to the Cherry Creek Trail at Confluence Park in the heart of Denver. From there you can easily access the many restaurants on the 16th Street Mall and the nearby museums. You can also explore City Park by bike and make a stop at the Denver Zoo.
Washington, D.C., is one of the lucky few bike-friendly cities. The city’s network of bike paths makes cycling a pleasant, healthy, and environmentally friendly alternative to driving or taking public transportation. The network includes bike lanes on streets and dedicated trails in parks and along the Potomac River.
This is a city where people like getting about on bicycles, and it shows. The city’s Metro system, which runs underground, even features bike racks on its trains, making it convenient for cyclists to travel between the city’s key attractions.
Brush up on history while you visit the many sites and museums in the Nation’s Capital by bike. Check out the Mount Vernon Trail as well as the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.
Bottom Line on Bike-Friendly Cities in the USA
A wide range of other urban and rural areas also welcome bikers. Many cities are ready to welcome cyclists of all abilities with easy access to safe bike lanes and trails. Whether you bring your own bike along, join a tour or use a bike share program, you are destined to get a different perspective on these cities while pedaling.
Thanks to Maxine Carter for Contributing this Post
Maxine Carter is a Midwesterner at heart who landed in California, where she is pursuing her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves traveling, cycling, and her four-legged friends.
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