The Best U.S. Cities for Bikes

It saves you money, keeps you fit, takes you around town, gets you to work, reduces traffic and environmental impact, is fun to use, costs just a fraction of the price of a car and you can park it almost anywhere.

Is there such a thing? It's a bicycle, of course.

While bicycling is a common mode of transportation in many countries, it often seems relegated to only the most committed riders in the U.S. But some cities are making it easier by adding bike sharing, bike lanes, racks on buses, bike lockers at train and bus stations, and route maps. The city of Minneapolis even has a program that offers a guaranteed ride home in an emergency for people who bike or use alternative transportation.

To find the U.S. cities that are best for biking, we turned to WalkScore.com, which promotes walkable neighborhoods, biking and public transit as the simplest and best solutions for the environment, our health, and the economy.

For a given location, WalkScore calculates a city's Bike Score on a scale of 1-100 by measuring bike infrastructure (lanes, trails, etc.), hills, destinations and road connectivity, and the number of bike commuters, based on data from the USGS, Open Street Map, and the U.S. Census. A score of 90-100 is considered a biker's paradise, where daily errands can be accomplished on a bike; 70-89 is very bikeable - convenient for most trips; 50-69 is bikeable - the city has some biking infrastructure. Below 50 means there is minimal bike infrastructure. None of the cities on this list are a paradise, but some are pedaling closer.

According to WalkScore's ranking of 141 cities, here are the best cities for bikes:

1. Minneapolis
1. Minneapolis

1. Minneapolis

Population: 382,578

Bike Score: 81.9

Minneapolis boasts 34 miles of bike lanes, and the buses have bike racks, making it easy for a bike/bus commute. The bike share program, Nice Ride MN, stocks bikes in stations around the city.

Photo: James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

2. Portland, Ore.
2. Portland, Ore.

2. Portland, Ore.

Population: 583,776

Bike Score: 81.2

Portland has a bike share program, and a park along the waterfront of the Willamette River with a bike trail that passes through downtown.

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Chicago
3. Chicago

3. Chicago

Population: 2.7 million

Bike Score: 71.5

Chicago has good transportation and is very bikeable. The city's bike share program is one of the largest and most successful in the country.

Photo: starmaro / Shutterstock

4. Denver
4. Denver

4. Denver

Population: 600,158

Bike Score: 71.3

The flat landscape makes Denver a good city for bikers. The Platte River bike path is 18 miles long, and runs through downtown.

Photo: Arina P Habich / Shutterstock

5. San Francisco
5. San Francisco

5. San Francisco

Population: 805,235

Bike Score: 70.7

The city's hills will keep bicyclists in good shape, and there are bike routes all over. The bike map indicates the steepness of the hills so you can plan your route. The city also has bike-sharing.

Photo: alexroch / Shutterstock

6. Seattle
6. Seattle

6. Seattle

Population: 608,660

Bike Score: 70.0

Photo: steve estvanik / Shutterstock

7. Arlington, Va.
7. Arlington, Va.

7. Arlington, Va.

Population: 207,627

Bike Score: 69.1

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Boston
8. Boston

8. Boston

Population: 617,594

Bike Score: 69.0

Photo: James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

9. New York City
9. New York City

9. New York City

Population: 8.2 million

Bike Score: 67.7

Photo: el_cigarrito / Shutterstock

10. Washington D.C.
10. Washington D.C.

10. Washington D.C.

Population: 601,723

Bike Score: 66.9

Photo: Shutterstock

11. Sacramento, Calif.
11. Sacramento, Calif.

11. Sacramento, Calif.

Population: 466,488

Bike Score: 65.9

Above, the Amgen Tour of California passes by the capitol.

Photo: Dana Gardner / Shutterstock

12. Irvine, Calif.
12. Irvine, Calif.

12. Irvine, Calif.

Population: 212,375

Bike Score: 65.9

Photo: Shutterstock

13. Philadelphia
13. Philadelphia

13. Philadelphia

Population: 1.5 million

Bike Score: 65.6

Photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock

14. Oakland, Calif.
14. Oakland, Calif.

14. Oakland, Calif.

Population: 390,724

Bike Score: 64.5

Photo: cdrin / Shutterstock

15. New Orleans
15. New Orleans

15. New Orleans

Population: 343,829

Bike Score: 63.8

Photo: Page Light Studios / Shutterstock

16. Tucson, Ariz.
16. Tucson, Ariz.

16. Tucson, Ariz.

Population: 520,116

Bike Score: 63.7

Pictured is Saguaro National Park, outside Tucson.

Photo: Shutterstock

17. St. Paul, Minn.
17. St. Paul, Minn.

17. St. Paul, Minn.

Population: 285,068

Bike Score: 63.3

Photo: Kate Scott / Shutterstock

18. Miami
18. Miami

18. Miami

Population: 399,457

Bike Score: 63.0

Photo: lazyllama / Shutterstock

19. Madison, Wis.
19. Madison, Wis.

19. Madison, Wis.

Population: 233,209

Bike Score: 62.7

Photo: Shutterstock

20. Long Beach, Calif.
20. Long Beach, Calif.

20. Long Beach, Calif.

Population: 462,257

Bike Score: 61.5

Photo: VDB Photos / Shutterstock

21. Boise, Idaho
21. Boise, Idaho

21. Boise, Idaho

Population: 205,671

Bike Score: 61.1

Photo: Shutterstock

22. Albuquerque, N.M.
22. Albuquerque, N.M.

22. Albuquerque, N.M.

Population: 545,852

Bike Score: 60.4

Photo: Shutterstock

23. San Jose, Calif.
23. San Jose, Calif.

23. San Jose, Calif.

Population: 945,942

Bike Score: 59.3

Cyclists gather in downtown San Jose for an annual bike party.

Photo: Matthew Corley / Shutterstock

24. Buffalo, N.Y.
24. Buffalo, N.Y.

24. Buffalo, N.Y.

Population: 261,310

Bike Score: 58.6

Photo: Atomazul / Shutterstock

25. Lincoln, Neb.
25. Lincoln, Neb.

25. Lincoln, Neb.

Population: 258,3791

Bike Score: 58.5

Photo: Shutterstock

26. Santa Ana, Calif.
26. Santa Ana, Calif.

26. Santa Ana, Calif.

Population: 324,528

Bike Score: 57.7

Photo: Charlie Nguyen/Wikipedia

27. Mesa, Ariz.
27. Mesa, Ariz.

27. Mesa, Ariz.

Population: 439,041

Bike Score: 57.2

Photo: Shutterstock

28. St. Petersburg, Fla.
28. St. Petersburg, Fla.

28. St. Petersburg, Fla.

Population: 244,769

Bike Score: 56.9

Photo: RebeccaPavlik / Shutterstock

29. Fresno, Calif.
29. Fresno, Calif.

29. Fresno, Calif.

Population: 494,665

Bike Score: 56.6

Photo: Tupungato / Shutterstock

30. Los Angeles
30. Los Angeles

30. Los Angeles

Population: 3.8 million

Bike Score: 55.1

Photo: GlobalTravelPro / Shutterstock

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