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Best cycling city in USA?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Best cycling city in USA?

Old 12-02-19, 08:24 PM
  #26  
Wildwood
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I can only speak for where I've lived.

San Jose, CA = great weather & terrain variety & cycling environment
Santa Cruz, CA = all the above + Monterey Bay coastal rides

West St Louis county, MO = nice hills, great low traffic back roads, hot summers

East of Seattle, WA = great variety of terrain, cycling community, relatively moderate weather.



Honorable mention to Grand Junction, CO (as I have visited often) = great everything, except winter months
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Old 12-02-19, 08:31 PM
  #27  
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NYC. I can do a 50 mile bike ride and never leave Brooklyn and I'm on dedicated trails about 60% of the way and bike lanes almost all of the rest. It isn't paradise here but don't discount how much cycling infrastructure there is. Winter isn't great here but that's about the only time I don't ride. I visited Seattle a few years back thinking it would be a cycling paradise but I didn't think so. I had lived there for a number of years back in the '80s and thought it would have improved a lot more than it did. I was in San Francisco riding a few weeks back and liked it there, but in-city riding has a major problem, the hills. I really enjoyed my day there on a road bike though, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin county. Even in town, on Embarcadero and Market.

I rode in Copenhagen a few summers ago and I'm itching to get back. It really is a cycling paradise there. Even my 3 kids, college age at the time, were happy to use bikes to get around, it was just the thing to do to fit in with everyone else.
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Old 12-02-19, 08:40 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
NYC. I can do a 50 mile bike ride and never leave Brooklyn and I'm on dedicated trails about 60% of the way and bike lanes almost all of the rest. It isn't paradise here but don't discount how much cycling infrastructure there is. Winter isn't great here but that's about the only time I don't ride. I visited Seattle a few years back thinking it would be a cycling paradise but I didn't think so. I had lived there for a number of years back in the '80s and thought it would have improved a lot more than it did. I was in San Francisco riding a few weeks back and liked it there, but in-city riding has a major problem, the hills. I really enjoyed my day there on a road bike though, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin county. Even in town, on Embarcadero and Market.

I rode in Copenhagen a few summers ago and I'm itching to get back. It really is a cycling paradise there. Even my 3 kids, college age at the time, were happy to use bikes to get around, it was just the thing to do to fit in with everyone else.
So, is Brooklyn the bike-friendliest borough these days? I lived in Manhattan long time ago and it (Manhattan) was awful then.
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Old 12-02-19, 08:46 PM
  #29  
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The Best Bike Cities in https://www.bicycling.com/culture/a2...e-cities-2018/ America
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Old 12-02-19, 09:48 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
So, is Brooklyn the bike-friendliest borough these days? I lived in Manhattan long time ago and it (Manhattan) was awful then.
Probably. Manhattan isn't too bad though. Between the west side greenway and the separated bike lanes on 1st/2nd, 8th/9th, and a few others, there are enough options, plus Central Park of course. Queens is probably the worst. The Bronx is mostly just devoid of riders although I go there all the time, and I never go to SI and I have no idea what it is like to ride there.
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Old 12-02-19, 09:52 PM
  #31  
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I could easily brag about my own backyard; mountain roads, ocean vistas, open rural roads, respectful (for the most part) drivers. But I don’t want a bunch of outsiders coming over and ruining a good thing.

Stay out of my backyard!
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Old 12-02-19, 10:39 PM
  #32  
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Kernville, CA. It can get a little cold in Jan.-Feb. but it's usually sunny and reasonably warm. You've got to like hills though!
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Old 12-02-19, 11:16 PM
  #33  
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The one you live in. Unless it's a town.
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Old 12-02-19, 11:44 PM
  #34  
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I'm surprised how many people think of winter as a con. If you live somewhere with real winters, you should find a snow sport you love. You'll come back stronger and with a renewed passion when dryland season returns.
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Old 12-03-19, 05:31 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm surprised how many people think of winter as a con. If you live somewhere with real winters, you should find a snow sport you love. You'll come back stronger and with a renewed passion when dryland season returns.
I used to ski at an area whose slogan was:

" Ski Madonna Mountain- Where we make fun of Winter!".




I still think it's a great pitch.

Much better than the sour " I hate winter" and "the sun never shines in winter" types.

Last edited by chainwhip; 12-04-19 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 12-03-19, 08:09 PM
  #36  
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It takes me 2-3 hours to drive to mountains if I want to do snow sports. I can have the good bits of winter (skiing) without the bad parts (slushy, gritted roads, sub-zero temps etc).

If I’d had the time today, we had beautiful weather for riding.

If I had a complaint about the weather here, it’d be that it never gets cold enough to justify buying a Castelli Gabba, or similar cold weather gear.
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Old 12-03-19, 08:28 PM
  #37  
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..

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Old 12-04-19, 08:14 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by rdrsonthstrm View Post
Kernville, CA. It can get a little cold in Jan.-Feb. but it's usually sunny and reasonably warm. You've got to like hills though!
Nice area. That was my favorite area for winter camping when I lived out that way - warm by my standards, cold enough to deter acclimated Southern California folks, and really pretty!
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Old 12-04-19, 08:52 AM
  #39  
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One of the most often heard complaints on this forum is being harassed by motorists. I would submit then that an important characteristic for good cycling is the attitude of the general public toward cycling.
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Old 12-04-19, 09:29 AM
  #40  
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Minneapolis, Portland, OR and Chicago are the most bikeable cities in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

That’s according to updated rankings from Bike Score®, a tool by Redfin company Walk Score® that rates the bikeability of neighborhoods, cities and addresses.
https://www.redfin.com/blog/most-bik...ities-usa-2020
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Old 12-04-19, 12:26 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
I think that San Diego is surprisingly un-cycling friendly for the amount of riders it has. This includes miles of bike lanes and general road conditions. Within the county, North County is significantly better with easier access to open country roads and climbing.

I will agree that the amount of clubs, events and weather are indeed pretty tough to beat. In regards to the events, the number of USAC sanctioned races has dropped from 5-6 a few years ago to just 1 now. But that problem also extends to SCNCA/NCNCA and the nation at large. USAC needs to do a better job of fostering participation, and we need another lance-like GC rider to garner interest on a bigger scale.

My vote def. goes to Santa Barbara for the record. I spent 10 weeks there interning in college (~2009) and had a hard time staying in the lab enough... Great riding all around and drivers that seemed to be more tolerant towards it. San Diego is quite conservative in comparison, politically and culturally and I've felt generally safer on the road the farther north in the state I've been. College was Humboldt State U, also awesome but just so remote, and rain.
I'll cast another vote for Santa Barbara. I love how you can basically pedal out your front door and within minutes be at the base of a 5,000 foot climb and see virtually no cars up there. Pedaling up Gibraltar and down Painted Cave is one of my all time favorite rides, whereas to get the same ride from my front door here in San Diego, I basically have to drive an hour east to get to Kitchen Creek.
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Old 12-04-19, 01:02 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Let me understand "road cycling" - you mean riding proper road bike with the intent of racing road races?
​​​​​​Road cycling means cycling on roads.
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Old 12-04-19, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​Road cycling means cycling on roads.
Some people are focused on riding on roads for transportation; some are focused on roads for race training; some ride roads only for leisure; some look for the road least traveled; .... Basically, not everyone sees "road cycling" the same way.

These are all examples of road cycling.




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Old 12-04-19, 03:06 PM
  #44  
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I agree. And what do they all have in common? Riding bikes on roads. Which is what road cycling boils down to. 🙂
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Old 12-04-19, 03:51 PM
  #45  
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That's my thoughts, but from talking with a variety of people over the years ... not everybody thinks the same way.
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Old 12-04-19, 06:48 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Some people are focused on riding on roads for transportation; some are focused on roads for race training; some ride roads only for leisure; some look for the road least traveled; .... Basically, not everyone sees "road cycling" the same way.
Ya, I was thinking more as an ideal training and/or ideal city for someone who wanted to go do long recreational rides all the time as opposed to bike lanes downtown, but all the responses have been interesting.

Basically I'm tired of riding the same dozen hills and few hundred miles of roads around me and want to fantasize about living somewhere where I can roll out of my house and hit endless scenic mountain roads.
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Old 12-04-19, 07:00 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by RupertCornelius View Post
Ya, I was thinking more as an ideal training and/or ideal city for someone who wanted to go do long recreational rides all the time as opposed to bike lanes downtown, but all the responses have been interesting.

Basically I'm tired of riding the same dozen hills and few hundred miles of roads around me and want to fantasize about living somewhere where I can roll out of my house and hit endless scenic mountain roads.
Maybe think about one of those cycling trips to wherever--Italy, Spain, France, Mallorca...
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Old 12-04-19, 07:17 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by RupertCornelius View Post
Ya, I was thinking more as an ideal training and/or ideal city for someone who wanted to go do long recreational rides all the time as opposed to bike lanes downtown, but all the responses have been interesting.
If training is your priority, then Boulder becomes an obvious choice.
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Old 12-04-19, 09:48 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by RupertCornelius View Post
Ya, I was thinking more as an ideal training and/or ideal city for someone who wanted to go do long recreational rides all the time as opposed to bike lanes downtown, but all the responses have been interesting.

Basically I'm tired of riding the same dozen hills and few hundred miles of roads around me and want to fantasize about living somewhere where I can roll out of my house and hit endless scenic mountain roads.
You'll always be riding the same roads wherever you may live. You need to get away from where you are to explore different roads. In the past 2 years I've done Arcachon, France, Balestrand, Norway, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Milan and most recently San Francisco. All different, all beautiful. And I really kick myself for not riding at least once in Shanghai. It was so bloody hot there that I just couldn't imagine being out on a bike. San Diego, Paris, London and Seattle are on my near future list. And in the more distant future, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Berlin, the Pyrenees, the Dolomites and the wine region of Tuscany. Madrid and Barcelona too.
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Old 12-04-19, 11:56 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
If training is your priority, then Boulder becomes an obvious choice.
Or the basement. No traffic or stoplights to interfere with your 20 minute intervals.
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