Infrastructure advancement for cyclists is making the front pages of newspapers and online news sites these days, the thought of any place being “bike friendly” seems like a real possibility now. Increasing the percentage of biked miles out of your overall traveled mileage is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint – easily the most efficient.
But exactly what makes a city “bike-friendly?”
Are standards based on cycling enthusiasm, number of lanes dedicated to cyclists, or a local government dedicated to sustainable living? What’s the criteria that earns a city a “bike friendly label?”
Earlier this year Bicycling.com released a list of the top 50 cities in the United States that were the most “bike friendly.” The study only focused on cities with 100,000 or more people. Factors that were taken into consideration were :
- The number of bike boulevards, municipal bike racks, and Segregated bike lanes
- How much influence cyclists have or how much consideration cyclists are given in the local government
- How big of a support there is for a “vibrant and diverse bike culture,” such as having “savvy” bicycle shops
- Geographical diversity
Sadly, my entire state of Georgia didn’t even have a representative on the list of 50! And a good part of the South was absent from the listing.
Top 10 Most Bike Friendly Cities in the U.S, according to Bicycling.com:
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Portland, Oregon
- Boulder, Colorado
- Seattle, Washington
- Eugene, Oregon
- San Francisco, California
- Madison, Wisconsin
- New York, New York
- Tucson, Arizona
- Chicago, Illinois
Check out the rest of the Top 50 and even the Top Foreign Bike Friendly cities at Bicycling.com and Top 10 Worldwide. Is your city among the top 10, 20, even 50?
Here’s one of our favorites map accessories that will make your city bike trip more dependable and enjoyable.
If your home town is somewhere on the list and you’re not already biking a healthy percentage of your transportation needs, reconsider you habits. With your favorite search engine you should be able to find some online bike maps to get some ideas of where else you can safely bike. Google Bike Maps is a great online source.
Want to chip away at your carbon footprint, by biking a higher percentage of your travel miles? Then challenge yourself to bike a larger percentage of your travel miles – see the earlier GreenBlizzard Bike Self Challenge posting for some ideas. Or, perhaps you might be planning a trip to one of these cities. Biking around is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save $$ on a car rental, and really get to know the city and its citizens.
Other KEY Accessories For Reducing Your Carbon Footprint With Your Bike:
Get A Good Basket – Keeping your hands free is critical. There are all sorts of options online and at your local bike shop. Look for either front handle bar detachable baskets that can serve as a shopping basket, or rear wheel collapsible baskets that can hold bulky items. Also, comfortable backpack can be invaluable on errands. These options are popular with our staff: Sunlite Standard Mesh Bottom Lift-Off Basket, Nantucket Stained Bicycle Basket, Retrospec Bicycles Cane Woven Rectangular “Toto” Basket, Schwinn Quick Release Wire Basket, or Bushwhacker Rear Pair of Bags.
Get a Good Lock – The new really thick cable combination locks work well. These are flexible and there’s no key to lose. Just set the combo to your birth-date for memory ease. These options are popular with our staff:Kryptonite Kryptolok U-Lock with 4-Foot Flex Cable, Etronic Combination Cable with Lock, or Cocoweb U-Lock with Flex Loop Cable. And the ultimate, never have to worry about your bike again! – Kryptonite Keeper Integrated Chain Bicycle Lock.