Special Report

The Best Cities for Biking This Year

If Americans are finding it harder to hit the road on four wheels this summer because of soaring gasoline prices, the two-wheel option is looking a lot more attractive in cities around the country.

To identify 2022’s 30 best cities for biking in the U.S., 24/7 Tempo reviewed a ranking created to mark World Bicycle Day (June 3) by LawnStarter, a lawn-care start-up that conducts research into city and state amenities. The site drew on data from some 16 U.S. government and non-government websites, including bicycle-specific ones, to rank the 200 largest American cities across five categories of differently weighted metrics: access (bike lanes and trails, bike shops, and rental facilities, etc.), safety (including natural hazards and road conditions), climate (days of extreme heat and cold, rainfall, percentage of sunny days, and air quality), community (bike clubs and the like), and events (number of bike tours, races, and events). The site then averaged the ranking across the metrics to compute an overall score out of 100 possible points, with the highest score being the best.

According to LawnStarter, the bigger cities grade out higher in the metrics because they’ve invested in good biking infrastructure such as bike trails to support dense populations. That helps explain why San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis, and New York hold some of the top spots in the “Access” category, which includes bike lanes and trails, bike shops, and rental facilities. (Here are the 25 best cities for active people.)

College towns such as Eugene, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin; Austin, Texas; and Fort Collins, Colorado, also are among the best cities for biking in 2022. 

The Pacific Northwest had three cities – Eugene and Portland, Oregon; and Seattle – on the list, perhaps not surprising given their reputation for high quality of life. You might not expect to find Northeastern cities like Buffalo and Jersey City on the list, however. Though their ranking was hurt by lower scores in the “Climate” category, they made up for it in “Access” ranking for Buffalo  and “Safety” score for Jersey City. (For life in general and not just for biking, these are America’s safest cities.)

Click here to see the best cities for biking in 2022

After being cooped for so long during the pandemic, Americans are itching to get outdoors and exercise and this has boosted interest in cycling. Here’s the rub – the havoc the virus has wrought on the supply chain is causing delays for importing bicycles and the parts for them. 

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