Special Report

The 25 Best Cities to Ride a Bike

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Cycling has become more popular than ever since COVID-19 appeared. The pandemic has engendered a whole new awareness of the importance of staying healthy and the risks associated with being overweight and unfit. 

As social distancing became a concern, team sports, especially those involving close contact, were discouraged. As gyms were closed as possible sources of infection, people across the country canceled their memberships and sought new forms of exercise and recreation — cycling most definitely among them.  

People have embraced cycling for many reasons. It’s equally good for solitary types and for people who like company. It also offers an escape from the tedium of lockdowns — and of course it’s a means of transportation that doesn’t pollute the environment. Here are 30 easy ways to be more environmentally friendly.

24/7 has Tempo compiled a list of the best cities for bike riders. Interestingly, it includes some of the nation’s biggest metropolises, including New York and Chicago. That’s good news as it makes cycling more viable and attractive for a larger number of people. Climate and geography help — it’s easier to cycle on flat terrain — but these aren’t crucial factors. San Francisco, which is known for its hills, and Denver, the “Mile High City,” are among those rated good for cyclists. 

Click here to see America’s 25 best cities for bike riders

To identify the best cities for bike riders, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the Bike Scores of the 100 largest cities in the United States from apartment search services company Walkscore. We also considered the percentage of commuters who use a bicycle to travel to work, as well as the total population of each of the cities, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. 

Finally, it may not be a coincidence that cities with reputations for being liberal do well: Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, rank No. 1 and 2 on our list, respectively. And if you’re interested in more than just biking, these are25 best cities for active people.

Source: Photo by Bike Mike's Bikes Saint Louis via Yelp

25. St. Louis, Missouri
> Bike score: 61.9
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 0.8% — #23 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 308,174

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Source: amygdala_imagery / E+ via Getty Images

24. Albuquerque, New Mexico
> Bike score: 62.1
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 1.1% — #20 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 559,374

Source: christiannafzger / iStock via Getty Images

23. Boise City, Idaho
> Bike score: 62.4
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 2.8% — #8 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 226,115

Source: csfotoimages / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

22. Madison, Wisconsin
> Bike score: 65.1
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 4.5% — #2 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 254,977

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Source: Photo by Campus WheelWorks via Yelp

21. Buffalo, New York
> Bike score: 65.4
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 1.0% — #21 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 256,480

Source: albertc111 / Getty Images

20. Oakland, California
> Bike score: 65.4
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 2.7% — #9 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 425,097

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19. Miami, Florida
> Bike score: 65.5
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 0.9% — #22 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 454,279

Source: f11photo / iStock via Getty Images

18. New Orleans, Louisiana
> Bike score: 66.4
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 3.1% — #7 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 390,845

17. St. Paul, Minnesota
> Bike score: 66.9
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 1.3% — #18 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 304,547

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Source: DougBennett / iStock via Getty Images

16. Tucson, Arizona
> Bike score: 66.9
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 2.4% — #10 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 541,482

Source: benedek / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
> Bike score: 67.4
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 2.1% — #13 out of 100 largest cities
> population: 1,579,075

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14. Sacramento, California
> Bike score: 68.1
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 1.9% — #14 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 500,930

Source: anouchka / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

13. Long Beach, California
> Bike score: 68.9
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 0.8% — #23 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 466,776

Source: azndc / E+ via Getty Images

12. Washington D.C., District of Columbia
> Bike score: 69.1
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 4.5% — #2 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 692,683

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11. Irvine, California
> Bike score: 69.4
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 1.5% — #17 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 273,157

10. New York, New York
> Bike score: 70.0
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 1.3% — #18 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 8,419,316

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Source: Photo by The Bike Hub via Yelp

9. Jersey City, New Jersey
> Bike score: 70.3
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 0.6% — #25 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 261,940

Source: 400tmax / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

8. Seattle, Washington
> Bike score: 70.3
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 3.5% — #6 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 724,305

Source: Juan Anzola / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

7. Boston, Massachusetts
> Bike score: 70.5
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 2.3% — #11 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 684,379

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6. Arlington, Virginia
> Bike score: 71.7
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 1.7% — #15 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 233,464

Source: NicolasMcComber / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

5. San Francisco, California
> Bike score: 72.2
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 4.0% — #4 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 874,961

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4. Denver, Colorado
> Bike score: 72.6
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 2.2% — #12 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 705,576

Source: LeoPatrizi / E+ via Getty Images

3. Chicago, Illinois
> Bike score: 73.2
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 1.7% — #15 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 2,709,534

Source: RyanJLane / E+ via Getty Images

2. Portland, Oregon
> Bike score: 82.4
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 6.0% — #1 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 645,291

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1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
> Bike score: 83.5
> Commuters who travel to work by bike: 4.0% — #4 out of 100 largest cities
> Population: 420,324

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