Forbes Rates “America’s Most Bike-Friendly Cities”

Photo © Forbes Magazine

A recent article in the Forbes Traveler online magazine rates “America’s Most Bike-Friendly Cities”. Some of the winners were obvious choices, though others make me question the criteria they used to come up with their list. In any case, it’s good to see cycling once again getting some national press (seems to be a trend).

The highlight of the article was this quote from Stephan Shier, owner of Seattle’s Dutch Bike Company:

Everybody in the U.S. is biking on modified racing bikes,” says Shier, whose company imports über urban two-wheelers crafted with Scandinavian simplicity, craftsmanship and pragmatism. “Thus, Americans believe they need to cycle to work or participate in a weekend trek like Lance Armstrong, wearing spandex and, by ride’s end, a full sweat. But in Europe bikes are the vehicles of the common man. You climb on in your regular clothes and bike away.

Way to go Stephan!

Read the article

12 Responses to “Forbes Rates “America’s Most Bike-Friendly Cities””

  • andy parmentier says:

    the real fort knox. lots and lots of gold dust in the sea-a common treasure for all. nobody has to go and fight a war for this gold. gold is good for the human body.
    the word here is COMMON. as in everybody’s. and COMMON. as in a common man’s bike. as alan says, a bicycle you ride every day cannot have a price tag affixed to it. it becomes really special to you. and that is true for the mental bicycle i ride every day. these blogs are special to me-though just made of common words. a “thread” of gold runs throughout.

  • Tim Guthrie says:

    Mr. shier is dead on, the wrong tool amkes any job unspleasant, and racing bikes are the wrong tool for any purpose except racing.


  • David Cambon says:

    The article is right about Vancouver (British Columbia). Vancouver does have a recreational multi-user path in a city park (usually crowded with runners, inline skaters and wobbly tourists on rental bikes) but no bike lanes to speak of. There are more cyclists in Vancouver than ever but no concessions to cyclists have been made while local politicians and transportation engineers are doing everything possible to encourage private automobile use in Vancouver. Cycling conditions in Vancouver are worsening every year and there is no plan to improve the situation. There is no doubt that the municipal and provincial governments are actively trying to get rid of cyclists in Vancouver, which should get first prize for the city with the dumbest transportation planning in Canada and the transportation planning that is most hostile to cyclists.

  • Paul says:

    We should look at bikes as we do with cars. Some models are not very practical/comfortable to use for commuting. And hybrid bikes are overrated. Just because you have a racer and enjoy riding it for exercise that does not mean you can’t get another bike for commuting. It’s not that expensive.

  • Jenifer says:

    The figure doesn’t quite match the caption.

  • Nate Briggs says:

    +1 on the topic of Vancouver – a city that seems to want its residents to drive … but does not want to ruin its landscape by building any highways.

    Everything gets funneled through Highway 1, and – without some major changes – I’m betting that the Big Event in 2010 will be known as the Gridlock Games. Unlike the Chinese, the Canadian government can’t just forbid half the drivers in BC from driving.

    On the other hand, Vancouver has just as much going for it as Seattle, and – with a change in attitude – could rank as a very bikeable city.

  • Jeff says:

    Well, putting San Diego at #3 throws all of the other rankings into question. Forbes needed to to talk to the Bicycle coalition, not the city. I live in North County, and have zero hope of using my trike to get to work 25 miles away. Why? Well, the train is overcrowded with bikes, so there is no room for trikes. I would like to use a bike locker, but there are 30 people on the waiting list for lockers at my station (with probably only 20 lockers on the site). If I could take my trike on the train, the station closest to one of the major employment hubs (La Jolla/UTC) requires some ultra nasty hill climbs, riding on the freeway, or riding on some of the most dangerous roads around in order to get to work.

    Bike friendly? Give me a break.

  • Alan says:


    I had to wonder about the SD ranking as well – I haven’t heard glowing reports from the folks I know in SoCal.

  • Smudgemo says:

    I’m not big on the idea of telling anyone they need any particular type of bike to get to work. I think you take what you’ve got hanging in the rafters and add a set of flat-resistant slicks and fenders of some sort. Instant commuter until you figure things out and can actually make informed decisions on what works best for you.

    You take very nice photos.

  • Jim Reilly says:

    With some bias, I would argue that Philadelphia is a great bicycle town. There exists a great paved bicycle trail extending from Valley Forge Park (of Revolutionary War Fame) into Center City and the Art Museum (Rocky ran up the stairs in front of the museum in the first movie). It’s about 25 miles from end to end…. and the Cheese Steak is a great reward along the journey! Sorry about the Carbon Footprint Alan.


  • Alan says:


    The issue I see with using racing bikes for commuting is that they can be quite uncomfortable, flat prone, and many won’t take fenders and racks. Those issues can be enough to discourage some people from bike commuting if they don’t realize there are more appropriate alternatives available. Other than that, I totally agree with you – it doesn’t really matter what bike you use so long as it works and doesn’t cause too much frustration.

  • Alan says:


    “With some bias, I would argue that Philadelphia is a great bicycle town. There exists a great paved bicycle trail extending from Valley Forge Park (of Revolutionary War Fame) into Center City and the Art Museum (Rocky ran up the stairs in front of the museum in the first movie).”

    Philadelphia sounds like a great candidate. The bike trail sounds wonderful.

    “Sorry about the Carbon Footprint Alan.”

    LOL. I’m just here to pass along the info; what y’all do with it is your biz, not mine. :-)


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