Cyclist-Friendly Cities?



West Texas Jim

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Jul 7, 2005
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I'm relocating soon, but not sure where.

I'm young, single, and have a promising career, so I'm just going to go to some place that I've never been before. One of the few things I care about is whether or not I'll be able to get out and ride easily.

In your experience, what are the most cyclist-friendly cities?
Please be descriptive, as I like to read :)
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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Two words: Tucson, Arizona has it all. Ok, that was 5 words, a comma, and a period, but still my words ring true.

I don't know of many places that have as wide and varied selections of rides that Tucson has: lots of rolling hills rides, some flats, lots of mountain rides (25 mi. long climb on Mt. Lemmon); maybe the greatest LBS in the world, Fairwheel Bikes, who put on rides six of the seven days a week (rides on which it's not uncommon to ride with Gord Fraser, Phil Zajicek, Tom Danielson, and more; Ladies? We gots oh so many ladies; great food; tons of stuff to do at night; riding 365 days a year........in short, it's perfecto here.
 

p38lightning

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Apr 19, 2004
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I agree with alienator, as I'm also a Tucsonan. In addition to what he says which is generally about road biking, there are superb Mt. biking trails all around the Tucson area. We also have a public bike program called Bicas where you can use any (they have them all)bicycle specific tools for a small fee. There is also an extensive network of bicycle lanes which make street riding/commuting much safer. Only down side is the 110 +degree summer temperatures.
 

WIGGUM1

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Jun 7, 2007
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Rider friendly cities are one thing, but rider friendly climates is quite another. In this area I would also side with our Tusconian friends as AZ gets some mighty fine weather. I would also recommend the front range of Colorado. Over 300 days of sunshine and average winter temps never dropping much below 50, Colorado is a riders mecca. Many towns are now incorporating bike lanes to all roads. There are many clubs and organizations if thats your thing. Not to mention there is a great economy that is continuing to grow. Maybe I'll see you around.
 

Chavez

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Jul 4, 2007
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WIGGUM1 said:
Rider friendly cities are one thing, but rider friendly climates is quite another.
Quite right - here in Wisconsin, Madison is VERY bike friendly and Milwaukee is getting there, but you've gotta have some serious grapes to get out there and cycle from Dec-March.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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WIGGUM1 said:
Rider friendly cities are one thing, but rider friendly climates is quite another. In this area I would also side with our Tusconian friends as AZ gets some mighty fine weather. I would also recommend the front range of Colorado. Over 300 days of sunshine and average winter temps never dropping much below 50, Colorado is a riders mecca. Many towns are now incorporating bike lanes to all roads. There are many clubs and organizations if thats your thing. Not to mention there is a great economy that is continuing to grow. Maybe I'll see you around.

Rider friendlyness is a definite plus. Colorado has it, as does Tucson. Round these parts, there are "share the road" signs everywhere, and when there's road construction, those areas are always sandwhiched with "share the roads" signs. The county has integrated bicycling into its transportation plan, with the latest budget that was passed adding 300 or so more miles of bike lanes, intersections designed to increase bike safety, and a whole host of other things.

Both Colorado and Tucson have an added benefit in that since there are so many more cyclists than in other places, drivers are much more aware of cyclists. And as the number of cyclists goes up, the awareness goes up a bit, too.

Having also lived in Boulder, CO and having spent a fair amount of time 'round Vail, Avon, Edwards, and Steamboat Springs, the cycling in Colorado is spectacular. I've had very few issues with drivers in Colorado and in Arizona.
 

mongooseboy

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Jul 25, 2005
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now you all want me to move out west/southwest even more...

NY sucks for biking, even on back roads people try to run ya over when NO one is coming and you can see for hundreds of yards. i ride a red bike and im not too small, its not hard to see me LOL. and, they re-surface most of our roads every year, spray down tar and put crushed gravel on top. making a VERY rough surface for tires, and making pedaling difficult. but thats good i think ;)
 

azul_fahrrad

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Jul 11, 2007
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I have traveled through most of the southern U.S. and the most bike friendly city that I have found is Austin Texas.

I have not been there since the summer of 1999 but when I was there, there was 8 mountain biketrails and greenways less than 10 minutes from the downtown area.

Texas has some of the best roads in the U.S. and unlike many other states, most roads in Texas have shoulder that accomodate cyclist.

In addition to the great variety riding opportunity there is also an enormous wealth of history and culture, fantastic food and a magnificent landscape. The night life in Austin fantastic and there are always lot's of beautiful people, which ever kind you're interested in.

Austin is centrally located so if ever you are inspired to take a weekend road trip to somewhere different, your wont have to spend a whole day driving. You'ld be two to three hours from the coast, depending on which city you're going to. You'ld be two hours from Big Bend National park which has fantastic mountain bike riding, you'ld be two hours from Dallas/Fort Worth. You're one hour from that one place, I can't remember, but it is in San Antonio. San Antonio is an international destination and is a whole condsidertion as a place to live.

If I could live any where in the world, I would live in Austin.
 

caideN

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Jul 14, 2007
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San Francisco (golden gate brige) all the way to marin and down has pretty nice trails. actually all around the bay area in California has nice trails. and has a lot of nice bikers
 

TheBugGuy

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Jun 28, 2007
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According to the League of American Bicyclists, the most cyclist-friendly city in the US is Davis, California:

Bicycle-Friendly Communities

I live in one of the "gold" level cities, and it's not too bad around here. A few dumb frat guy types, but that's about the worst I've encountered. One thing I really like is how most traffic signals around town have under-pavement sensors in the bike lane (I don't know how many cities have those, but it surprised me when I noticed them).

All the city buses have bike racks and there's some nice trails around town, too.

From the Visit Corvallis website:

"Corvallis and Benton county have more than 60 miles of bike paths along the Willamette River, through parks and within the city. Corvallis loves bicycling and the city has been granted the designation of a "Bike Friendly City" by Bike USA and is ranked ninth in the nation with the highest proportion of people who ride a bike to work. Corvallis has one of the best bicycling systems in the nation, combining well maintained bicycle lanes, multi-use bicycle paths, shoulder bikeways, bike and pedestrian only paths, trails and great country-rides.


"For great Benton County rides, from beginner to expert click here (Courtesy of the Mid Willamette Valley Bicycle Club). Also join the Mid Willamette Valley Bicycle Club for one of their weekly rides.
"For help with directions for these rides click here for Mapquest and enter your starting location."

The weather is also a lot milder than the southwest.

Edit: After re-reading the other posts, I thought I'd add that Corvallis is kind of boring, despite being a good place to cycle. I like it here, but I'm from a podunk redneck town in the middle of nowhere -- Wal-mart is fun by comparison to that place.

That being said, I still think it's a nice enough place to live. Oregon is Microbrew Mecca, the OSU campus here is beautiful to ride through (as long as it's not right between classes), and if you get really bored, Portland is less than two hours away.

Oh, and big university campus = really hot girls all over town. ;)
 

airosen

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Jun 27, 2007
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I don't know if Canada's in your consideration, but I'm from Toronto, and in terms of cycling, the climate is great most of the year, with only a few months of winter conditions, and the rest of the year is comfortable, rarely extremely hot. The suburbs have some great open roads for road cycling, and there are tons of MTB trails around the Greater Toronto Area. There are a fair bit of bike lanes downtown, and generally, drivers are pretty nice around here. Not too many hills (but a fair bit of annoying streetcar tracks downtown.) The pavement is very well kept up, and there are lots of wide lanes on the big streets. If you're interested, you can find out more about cycling in the city at www.toronto.ca/cycling .
 

Yojimbo_

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Apr 17, 2005
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Toronto is a city.

I checked out Tucson on google. Apparently I was mistaken - the site I found says Tucson area has a million people.

But it's too hot to cycle there imo.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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Yojimbo_ said:
Toronto is a city.

I checked out Tucson on google. Apparently I was mistaken - the site I found says Tucson area has a million people.

But it's too hot to cycle there imo.


Uhm, the Tucson area, is the area around Tucson. It's the metro area. If you look at map you'll find Tucson is a city. You'll be surprised to find out that Toronto also has an area. Is Toronto a city? :rolleyes:

It's hot here between the end of May and roughly mid-September. So what? We ride in the morning. We go up those mountains that Toronto has none of, up to where it's cooler. Having been several times to Toronto, I'd say it's worth as a cycling city is at least an order of magnitude less than Tucson, or Boulder, CO, or any number of other cities. It takes very little pedaling to be outside of "Tucson" and in the wilderness. Toronto doesn't have that at all.
 

WIGGUM1

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Jun 7, 2007
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Toronto is no good, I have been there and the flies are horrendous. You cannot stop to put your chain back on much less take a break before you are covered in black and deer fly. When the flies arn't around there is snow everywhere. Not to mention there is the dialect barrier to get over in the bike shops :) (I couldn't resist, sorry)
 

airosen

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Jun 27, 2007
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WIGGUM1 said:
Toronto is no good, I have been there and the flies are horrendous. You cannot stop to put your chain back on much less take a break before you are covered in black and deer fly. When the flies arn't around there is snow everywhere. Not to mention there is the dialect barrier to get over in the bike shops :) (I couldn't resist, sorry)
Flies? Never been a problem for me, except up north in cottage country, 200 km north of toronto. There are no, ZERO, black flies in metro toronto, and the only problem I have is with gnats along the forested paths. Dialect? I don't know about that, but I guess I'm no-one to talk, how would I know! :D From my personal experience, southern Ontario is a wonderful place to be a cyclist.
 

Yojimbo_

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Apr 17, 2005
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Toronto is a great cycling city if you like to ride on bike paths - loads and loads of them. I remember an article years ago in Bicycling magazine that ranked Toronto the top cycling city.

On the other hand, I don't like riding on bike paths, and I wish there were some mountains to climb.

Like Tuscon.