Since the 1920s, the Western world has been living in the age of automation. When cars took over our streets, they didn't just change the way we travel; they changed where and even how we live. However, the tide is changing again in the 21st century; many are gradually abandoning the automobile in favour of other forms of transportation, with biking leading the way as a popular alternative - with good reason. Not only is getting around by bike often faster than a car during rush hour commutes, it's also an excellent boost for your health. A 130 pound person can burn between 236-472 calories an hour through light to moderate bike riding, so a commute to and from work on a bike can significantly contribute to aerobic fitness and maintenance of a health weight. All while saving money on gas (incredibly, the average amount spent on gas per year is $8,946 for a standard sedan) and taking some of stress off the environment.
Unfortunately for many people in the average U.S city, this isn't an option. Most cities simply don't have the infrastructure to allow for safe biking. Very few have designated bike paths, and even those that do are often side-by-side with cars making cycling much more risky than it has to be.
But there are several cities in the United States that are becoming more bike-friendly. The website Walk Score compiled a ranking of the most bike-friendly cities in America, looking at bike infrastructure (lanes, trails, etc), hills, destinations, and road connectivity to determine the best cities for bikes. They rank the cities from 0-100, with the higher rankings being the best for bikers. While none of the cities on this list were ranked between 90-100 (daily errands can be accomplished on a bike), some were ranked as high as 70-89 which means that biking is convenient for most trips. Everything else fell between 50-69 meaning that the cities contain some bike infrastructure but is by no means extensive. In those cities, a bike wouldn't provide a reasonable alternative for a car. American cities still have a long way to go, but thankfully there are several cities trying to become more bike-friendly over the next few decades. If you're a keen American biker looking to ditch the car once and for all, you better hope you live in one of these 10 cities.
10 Chicago, IL - Bike Score: 61.5
9 New York, NY - Bike Score: 62.3
8 Tucson, AZ - Bike Score: 64.1
7 Seattle, WA - Bike Score: 64.1
6 Washington D.C - Bike Score 65.3
5 Boston, MA - Bike Score: 67.8
4 Philadelphia, PA - Bike Score: 68.4
3 Denver, CO - Bike Score - 69.5
2 San Francisco, CA - Bike Score: 70.0
1 Portland, OR - Bike Score: 70.3
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