Bicycling Magazine’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities

Bicycling Magazine has published their “America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities” list. For the first time in recent memory, Portland, Oregon did not top a bike-friendly city list. Instead, Bicycling picked Minneapolis, MN as their #1 bike-friendly city, citing “the thriving bike community, 120 miles of on- and off-street bicycle facilities, indoor bike parking and other cycling-friendly facilities” as reasons for their decision. Portland, Boulder, Seattle, and Eugene rounded out the top 5.

Bicycling Magainze’s Top 50 List

16 Responses to “Bicycling Magazine’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities”

  • bongobike says:

    Austin #11, my home town!

  • Seth Vidal says:

    Cary, nc: That’s pretty hilarious. I have no doubt that cary residents spent a lot on bicycles last year. I do not believe they did anything other than drive around with them on the back of the giant SUVs.

    Cary is a shining example of suburban hell.

  • John Boyer says:

    When will false reporting become a crime? On a flip note Id worry about Sacramento getting complacent on being on this list. We have alot of work to do.

  • Rick says:

    Oh, there’s going to be some pissed off folks in Sacramento today.

    As I just wrote on the same subject on BikePortland:

    “This may sound like sour grapes, but no Sacramento? At all? We’re fourth in the country in commuter rides, have one of the best (and longest) multi-use trails in the country, have a thriving bike culture, progressive planning, great bike shops, easy-to-ride topography, and–except for about two hot months during the late summer–nearly perfect weather. We host a major professional ride, The Amgen Tour of California; we host a stop on the Bicycle Film Festival; I mean, really? Not in the top 50? Seriously?

    In addition, Sacramento puts on the “May Is Bike Month” event, not Davis, as the article erroneously mentioned…not that I’m pissed off or anything…

    Thanks for letting me vent…and Portland is the best bike town in America, hands-down. (Or as a friend told me, “yeah, Minneapolis is a great bike town…for the three months you can ride there without freezing to death”…)

  • John Boyer says:

    Jackson Hole is missing too, a Gold star rated one with a bike path to Yellowstone!

  • Alan says:

    Hey, it’s Bicycling Magazine, what did you expect? IMO, the only bike-friendly rating system that has any validity is LAB’s…


  • Rick says:

    True, Alan, but you have to admit (without taking anything away from the other cities), we got hosed; the problem I see is our proximity to Davis–which has built-in advantages we’ll never enjoy, and yet we’re seen as the ugly stepsister…and it’s a bit frustrating.

    Davis has been living off their rep for years, and it’s obvious to me that they’ve been completely eclipsed by Sacramento–a city that has a fraction of their per-capita tax base–in terms of both planning and execution. The problem is one of perception, not reality, and I’d love have the editor-in-chief of Bicycling Magazine come out here and explain his decision personally…after we show him what a wonderful bike town Sacramento is.

  • brad says:

    Speaking of Sacramento, I’d love to see more info on how the Preferred Blueprint smart growth scenario that SACOG adopted a few years ago, and which has been integrated into the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, is affecting/will affect bicycling opportunities in the Sacramento region. It seems like it has a lot of potential.

  • steve says:

    This is a pretty ad hoc list. How about some serious metrics that fold in accident rates and other measurables. Then pick out a world class leader like Amsterdam or Copenhagen and rate the city as a fraction. For example Portland might be 300 miliCopehagens.

  • XXX says:

    I can’t even believe they included Kansas City. I won’t argue about their requirements for robust cycling business, shops, etc. LIke the person above, our bikes are hauled around on car racks. The park that they mention for mountain biking 25 miles, is in the far burbs with a 25 mile drive just to get there. Great trails, but freeway driving for 1/2 an hour is hardly “bike friendly”. Despite the complete absence of bike lanes, we do have some commuter culture and MO Bike Federation is quite active in advocating bike policies statewide. If one lives in the core of the city, the grid layout of residential streets means one can travel in large blocks of mileage on slow speed residential streets for getting about. We need more connector routes though, to get cyclists to jobs that seem to only exist along 4 lane, high speed roads. Glad to see my town on the list, but I think the status quo is in need of improvement.

  • Frank Gonzalez says:

    Interesting list… I can only speak about Miami, where I have lived for 27 years and have ridden for more than 15 years, including 3 years as a bike commuter. I would be interested in finding out the methodology that was used by Bicycling to come up with this list.

    Yes, the city and the county have added some bike paths (not continuous, just where there was some extra space), but conditions have only worsened in the last few years.

    The Mayor has put together some community rides… but this, like many of the other “improvements” have been politically driven. How do I know this? Because the rest of the time, the authorities don’t care about cyclists. Miami is a firmly entrenched car enclave, with lousy public transportation. I should know, since I catch the Metrorail and bus every day.

    Right now, unless you can drive to Key Biscayne, where traffic and conditions are barely acceptable, or way down south in the Everglades, it is almost impossible to depend on a bicycle for your daily transportation needs. Miami is too spread out and dangerous for bikes. The few cycling lanes are disconnected from each other and drivers are overly aggressive. In the last two years, we’ve had two cycling fatalities in Key Biscayne alone and speeding cars are a constant threat. The police setup speed traps exactly two weekends after the latest fatality, things are back to “normal” again.

    Sorry for the rant! But for the most part, riding bike sucks in Miami!

    Frank Gonzalez

  • Tom Stahl says:

    I would have to agree with most who have questions about the criteria. My city made it at 45, but due to one of the greenway multi-use rail trails, not for the growing efforts to increase cycling for both fun and utility – such as dedicated bike lanes downtown, and an increased presence of cyclists running everyday errands and riding to work. LAB has criteria that is a better judge of cities friendly to folks who want to use their bike more, and car less.

    Alan, I would love to see a pole of readership on your blog here, to see where people are coming from. Maybe you can find out where readers are from using site statistics or something, but I wonder if readership here correlates closer to the LAB results, or the Bicycling Magazine’s results. Audience likely has a lot to do with the criteria, which also effect the results.

  • Nico F says:

    Disappointed not to see Sacramento on there. I guess with this disclaimer, “we strove for geographical diversity to avoid having a list dominated by California’s many bike-oriented cities.” the deck was stacked against it. Can you really call a list “Top 50 American Cities” while excluding some (many) because they happen to be in the same start? Only 2 California cities? Even Arizona had 3. No mention of Burlington, VT another big college, road and mountain bike area. The list makes for great headlines, but is about as accurate as predicting the weather 5 days out.

  • Molly says:

    While I’m kinda proud my city is #1, in the past year cyclists in downtown Minneapolis have witnessed the disappearance of 3 major bikes lanes and the addition of one that doesn’t work, 1st Avenue, which puts bikes in the curb lane and parked cars near the middle of the street. But cars still park on the curb. Minneapolis is great for recreational riders and there a few great crosstown, bike only thoroughfares (called the Midtown Greenway) but downtown commuters like me have been sold down the river. We lost one big bike lane and now have to ‘share’ a lane with cars making right turns and buses. I’ve been commuting for years and sharing a lane with a bus is terrifying. I won’t do it anymore.

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  • beth h says:

    Let Minneapolis have the trophy. Perhaps it will inspire more people to move THERE for the “bike culture”.

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