The holidays are all about fun, and for some people, that means hitting the road and getting out of town. If you’re a cyclist, trips also mean a new place to joyride; so make sure you pick a destination with a bike-friendly landscape so you can do what you love.
Don’t know where to bring your bike this holiday season? Check out the six US destinations listed below. They’re undoubtedly America’s best biking cities, and an exciting place for any active cyclist to get their “R & R” over the holiday break.
Dubbed “America’s Best Bike City” by Bicycling Magazine in 2016, Chicago took the commuter trend by storm, completely revamping its infrastructure in recent years to become a decidedly bike-friendly city. It added 100 miles of protected bike lanes in 2015 alone, created the Loop Link to add bike lanes and bike traffic signals to Downtown Chicago’s busy cityscape, and even has weekly “Monday Night Rides.” Also dubbed “The Windy City”, Chicago will be cold during the holidays—so when you ride, make sure you have your Closca Nordic to keep your head cozy during winter’s kick.
Riding in Boulder gives cyclists two benefits: beautiful views and miles of open terrain. Only one of five cities to earn the League of American Bicyclists “Platinum” ranking, Boulder has one of the most well-thought-out bicycle planning programs in the US. It is in the best biking cities ranking. The thinner mountain air does make riding difficult if you’re not used to it; but power through it for a few days and don’t worry—your body will adjust.
DC traffic is a bear to get through, so join the masses of bike commuters and avoid sitting at a red light for five hours. On top of that, DC was one of the first cities to adapt to the bike commuter trend, it is packed with historic sites for you to see on your ride through the nation’s capital, and it’s packed with protected bike lanes to separate cyclists from the city’s endless cars and pedestrians.
New York City, NY
When it comes to biking, we can’t forget New York City. The ultimate American commuter hub, New York has gone full throttle with its cycling infrastructure—building dedicated and protected bike lanes, launching what is now America’s largest bike-share network (Citi Bike!), and building a huge cyclist community that has resulted in 450,000+ bike trips taken daily through the Big Apple. Add that to the fact that there are now more than 1,000 New York bike paths in the city, and hopping on a bike is one of the best ways to explore it.
Madison might not seem like the ultimate vacation destination, but if you’re a cyclist, you’ll absolutely love it. Another city awarded the League of American Cyclists’ “Platinum” status, Madison is packed with a robust network of bike trails, including a dedicated 80-mile bike path that lets cyclists ride directly from Madison to Milwaukee without interruption.
Portland has received many accolades for its cycling infrastructure: it’s #3 in Bicycling Magazine rankings, #28 on the Bike Network Analysis scale, and has earned “Platinum” status from the League of American Bicyclists. The amount of residents that commute by bike to work in Portland has amounted to 10%, it hosts an annual “World Naked Bike Ride,” and the city has well over 300 dedicated bike paths for cyclists to explore.