I’ve been gathering data since March 2014 on cycling developments around the country and have completed what is in effect a long-term study on the best cities for cycling in the U.S. If you are interested in seeing the data that were used to compile this report, email me or post a comment requesting it and I will post a link to the raw data for your review.
- Houston, Texas. Known mostly as a sweaty hell-hole filled with mosquitoes and large, flying roaches, Houston is in fact the highest-rated metropolitan area in North America for its favorable cycling infrastructure and environment. Despite a high number of cyclist-cager fatalities (1,202.8 in 2015), Houston won the top spot due to its high number of cycling commuters: Over 40% of the city gets to work by bicycle.
- Minot, North Dakota. Although “perfect” riding conditions only occur between August 15 and August 28, the rest of the year Minot offers an incredible variety of riding. Aficionados can choose between riding indoors, hanging out at Val’s, or purchasing fracking equipment for their backyard. Minot nailed down the #2 spot due to its weekly ride (Tuesday) that boasts a gentleman who shows up on a tandem with no one on the back.
- Lancaster, California. Many people abhor the Lancaster-Palmdale Greater Methropolitan Area due to its ill-deserved reputation for drugs and highway fatalities, however,
- Tipton, Iowa. The hometown of former cyclist Jeff Filds, who no longer rides because he can’t find anyone who “just wants to ride down to the park and back,” Tipton offers scenic vistas, authentic Mayan burial pyramids, vast tracts of corn, and 47 different types of wind, all of which contain unique and beautiful varieties of dust.
- Bike Snob, New York. This black hole of negativity, anger, rage, formulaic writing, and sodden predictability drives me insane with jealousy. However, more Americans ride those pages than any other bicycling blog on the Internet.
- Portland, Oregon. Portland, site of former shipyards and naval stations and thousands of cases of mesothelioma, has in the last seven years imitated Austin, Texas, to a “T” and now boasts more people not from there who act like they were than the patrons of the Whole Foods Market on Lamar. Although most Porlandians drive SUV’s and add apostrophes to their acronyms, there are more bike shops operating in the red in this mainstream counterculture small town big city than anywhere except Boulder, CO.
- Yellow Knife, Northwest Territories. Selected for its mild winters, short distance from major metro areas such as Vancouver, culturally diverse population, and number of miles of dedicated bike lanes, Yellow Knife continues to punch above its weight in bicycle friendliness.
- Sugar Land, Texas. Located west of Houston, Sugarland is home to Russell “Ol’ Testicles,” one of the people responsible for getting more people out of cycling than anyone since Henry Ford.
- Santa Fe, New Mexico. This enchanted city tucked away in the mountains offers unrivaled vistas, uncluttered roadways, endlessly beautiful mountain climbs, and with the exception of a few cold weeks, year-round quality riding weather. However, this polished diamond is best known for its local bicycling tour guide services, the Stern Tours and Neophyte Welcoming Committee.
- Santa Monica, California. Home to one of the greatest champions of the modern cycling era, Nick Brandt-Sorenson provides the world’s leading web-based nutritional, pharmaco-medical, and fashion support for America’s cyclists.
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