At one time, bicycling was strictly considered fair weather activity. It’s caught on so well now, though, that many enthusiasts aren’t happy waiting winter out. They get their bicycles out in winter, too. If you’d like to check out some bicycling action, these are the 10 top cities in the US for it.
1. Bend, Oregon
The city of Bend is built on the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, bordering on a desert. With the resultant mild weather, Bend enjoys an unusually long bicycling season. It has the trails for it – nearly 500 miles of singletrack cycling pathways. Every kind of cycling enthusiast is likely to find the right trail for their needs here.
2. Sacramento, California
The Tour of California bicycling race often starts in the capital of California. With the 32-mile American River Parkway bike trail running along the city, Sacramento is easy to explore on bicycle – you can get on or off the trail as you explore the city. Apart from the Parkway, the city has plenty of bike lanes, too. In general, Sacramento is extremely cycle-friendly.
3. Durango, Colorado
If you like mountain biking more than paved cycling, Durango offers access to a wide variety of spectacular dirt trails – switchbacks, down hills and other great routes. For paved cycling, the Animus River Trail that runs 7 miles along the length of Durango is picturesque, calm and inviting.
4. Tucson, Arizona
As Tucson cools down over winter, it begins to attract thousands of cycling enthusiasts from around the country, who love the challenging cycling terrain that it offers. Tucson also has paved cycling – 700 miles of bike lanes and a car-free Urban Loop that’s 50 miles long.
5. Davis, California
Home of the US Bicycling Hall of Fame, Davis is called the bike capital of America. It deserves the title because nearly every one of the main roads has bike lanes. One in five Davis residents commute to work on their bicycles.
6. New York City, New York
On Memorial Day 2013, New York City launched America’s largest bike share plan with more than 5000 bicycles spread out over 300 bike stations all over the city. The city has great bike rentals and hundreds of miles of bike lanes, too.
7. Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville’s claim to cycling fame comes from its 100-mile Louisville Loop bicycling trail that the city plans to expand. One day soon, cyclists will be able to go anywhere in the city on safer cycling trails. If you find yourself in Louisville and don’t have your own bicycle, the city even has its own bike sharing program called the Louisville B-Cycle.
8. Missoula, Montana
Montana may sound like a place where you’d see more horses and pickups on the street than bicycles, but the city of Missoula has steadily added bike lanes and trails for years. If you’d like something off-road, Rattlesnake Recreation Area, Blue Mountain and Pattee Canyon can give you a great variety of cycling fun.
9. Washington DC
While DC is spread out, it’s spectacularly picturesque, with its parks and monuments. With bike rentals dotting the city, it’s an enjoyable place to ride a bike in. If you’d like a dedicated cycling trail, the C&O Canal Trail runs 185 miles along the Potomac River, all the way to Maryland.
10. Austin, Texas
Austin is a surprisingly cycling-friendly town. Not only is it home to the Lance Armstrong Bikeway that runs through the town, it has Texas Hill Country too that offers great variety of off-road trails.
With dedicated bike tracks and populations that are extremely bicycle friendly, these are wonderful places to try pedaling in. What’s your favorite cycling city?