There’s just something about a bike ride. It lets you explore a city at your own pace, it puts you right in the heart of Mother Nature, and depending where you go, it can be a short-lived adventure or one that lasts for miles. Looking for a new place to go for a ride? Grab your urban bike helmet (the Closca Helmet is our favorite!) and hit the road—from east to west, here are the top 10 cities in the U.S. to ride your bike:
New York City, NY
In the city where no one wants to drive and trains are always delayed, NYC is the birthplace of America’s largest bike-sharing network, Citi Bike. Grab your urban bike helmet, hop on a protected bike path and see what “The Big Apple” has to offer: from lively Times Square and Broadway, to lush Central Park, Chinatown and Little Italy, the sights are endless.
We’ve all heard about the horrors of D.C. traffic, so when the city developed one of the country’s first bike-sharing programs, commuters everywhere rejoiced. Here, bikes can be rented for $35/day, and trails will take riders from the heart of the nation’s capital to Maryland, Virginia and beyond. In May, bike lovers join DC Bike Ride, a 20-mile ride that starts in West Potomac Park and ends on iconic Pennsylvania Avenue.
With 155+ bike trails, 250 miles of bike-friendly roads, and hundreds of bike racks scattered throughout the city, Cincinnati is a haven for bike lovers. It’s the third-fastest growing bike city in the nation, which makes sense when you consider how beautiful it is. One district, the hip Over the Rhine, has one of the biggest concentrations of 19th-century architecture in America, and it’s just beautiful to see from your bike.
You wouldn’t think a place called “The Windy City” would be good for cyclists, but with its 100+ miles of bike lanes, weekly Monday Night Rides, and the Downtown Chicago “Loop Link,” it really is. In Chicago, there are 45M+ bike rides a year, which isn’t surprising when you consider what you’ll ride past: like Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, The Bean, and of course, Giordano's famous deep-dish pizza.
New Orleans, LA
After Katrina, NOLA needed to rebuild; and when it did, it made the city’s biking community a priority. It’s no wonder New Orleans has been named one of the top 20 U.S. cities for daily bike rides—it has 100+ miles of bike paths and electric “Get Up and Ride” events with 800+ cyclists every week.
Once an industrial city filled with railroads, in 2017, every single one of those railroads have been turned into bike paths. It has 40+ miles of bike streets, the “Nice Ride” bike-sharing system, a city-run bike program for commuting high school students, and an annual vehicle-free street festival.
In trendy Austin, which is currently one of America’s hottest cities to live in, riding through town in your Closca Helmet is a natural fit. In fact, its standout music, bar and restaurant scene aside, Austin has become a cyclist’s dream. Thanks to the government-sponsored Bicycle Master Plan, pick up a cycling map (they’re everywhere!) and pedal through hundreds of miles of dedicated bike lanes.
It’s no secret that Colorado is a haven for America’s more outdoorsy residents, and in Boulder, they’ve created an actual bike culture. There are 300+ miles of dedicated bike paths, a weekly costumed Boulder Cruiser Ride, the “B-cycle” bike-sharing program, and even a 24/7 “vending machine” with biking accessories. If your bike breaks down while you’re riding through town, don’t worry—different food stands have “Bike Love” repair kits with all the tools you need.
Go here for 65+ miles of bike paths, 30 miles of low-traffic bike boulevards, and 175+ miles of bike lanes. Compared to other cycling cities, Portland stands out in a unique way—it hosts more than 2,000 biking events, races and rides every year, and even launched a Create-a-Commuter program to give bicycles, biking equipment and bike safety lessons to residents in lower-income brackets.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is the birthplace of Critical Mass, a group bike ride that started in 1992 as a way for locals to “take back the streets.” Fast-forward 25 year later, and the city has a network of bike paths: from the 500-mile San Francisco Bay Trail and Bicycle Boulevard, to Golden Gate Bridge and the hardest trail, Mount Diablo, which takes you up a steep mountain to 3,849 feet above sea level.