October 27, 2021 Posted in City Guides
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

The 6 Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the US

In 2021, many people are abandoning their sedentary lifestyles and opting to move. If we learned anything from last year’s lockdown, it’s that more of us need to get out of chairs and enjoy the great outdoors. Here’s a list of six of the most bike-friendly cities in the US.

A black bicycle beside a white wall overlay
If you want to make positive changes for yourself and others, try moving to a bicycle-loving city.

It’s logical to feel tired of being stuck in traffic for hours, and many who look up moving to a new home typically search for places with fewer cars, more outdoor activities, and walking-distance amenities. Long-distance moving services can help you ship your car to another state if you want to, but when they start their packing services, remind them to pack your bicycle, too.

The Key Criteria for Finding the Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the US

Cycling is one of the healthiest outdoor activities, but it’s also a form of commuting. This makes it probably the ideal way to increase health and environmental awareness at the same time. It’s no secret that cycling has been touted as a solution to the emerging ecological problems, especially when cities have more residents who drive cars each year.

However, some places in the US have made it their mission from the get-go to include biking as a form of transportation, which is why they have benefits like protected bike lanes, bicycle-only bridges, and bike-sharing systems. These factors are included in the criteria for picking the most bicycle-driven places, but here’s the full list of things taken into consideration:

  • Suitability of the city for cycling (in terms of lane accessibility, protected bike lanes and their mileage, ride-sharing systems, and traffic regulations,)
  • Percentage of commuters who go to work by bicycle,
  • The weather suitability (precisely – the number of days per year with precipitation and the number of days with extreme temperatures,)
  • Average household incomes,
  • Biking fatalities per 100,000 residents.

You don’t have to do a where to move quiz – just look at the cyclability index and take your pick. If you decide to start biking to work, you’ll find it easier to make friends in a new place, especially in areas where many commute that way.

The Downside of Experienced Commuters In Bicycle-Heavy Cities

There are a few undoubtedly great places for commuting by bicycle, but anyone who’s a newbie in that world is in for some surprises. Experienced cyclists take full advantage of their cycling paths and expect everyone who participates in doing the same. That’s why some of them may feel a bit aggressive if you start your bicycle adventures in one of these places.

It’s important not to be overly reactionary; it’s like driving in LA – you’re expected to know the culture, and that’s it. You’ll get used to it fast.

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What Is the Most Bike-Friendly State in America?

Deciding on moving to another state can also be determined by a state’s overall cycle-friendliness. According to CNN’s travel blog, Washington has been the most cycle-friendly state in the US for eight years in a row. It was followed by Minnesota and Oregon, among others.

Coincidentally, cities in these states are on our list, so you won’t make a mistake by hiring cross-country movers to reach any of these three places. However, you may be relocating for a relationship but don’t want to spend your budget going to a capital. It’ll be easier to deal with moving stress if you simply take a whole state into account.

two young guys walking, and one is pushing a bicycle overlay
Some of the most suitable states for bicycles are Washington, Oregon, and Minnesota

#1 Biking City In 2021 – San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California, is this year’s answer to the question, “what is the most bicycle-friendly city in the US.” Unlike its state neighbor of LA, which is deemed one of the worst places for biking, SF’s local authorities have upped their game and provided the residents with 20 long miles of protected bike lanes, investing around $100 million in cycle-oriented solutions across town.

Additionally, any time is the best time of the year to move to SF because it has only 28 days of precipitation per year; that’s around 300 and more sunny days for the locals to enjoy their two-wheelers. The benefits of moving here, and with a long-distance moving company at that, are numerous.

San Francisco, CA ranking:

  • Bikeability score: 72/100
  • Percentage of bicycle users: 3,8%
  • Population: 870,000
  • Overall index: 100/100
People hanging out, with a bicycle leaning on the fence in San Francisco, CA overlay
San Francisco is the best place for people to commute by their trusted two-wheelers

Portland, Oregon Keeps the Title of One of the Best Cities for Cycling

Portland, Oregon, isn’t just one of the best cities for millennials; it’s also one of the most convenient places for commuting by bicycle. More residents commute this way than they do in SF, but Portland’s downside is that there are around 160 days of precipitation per year. Compared to SF’s 28, that’s relatively high.

While moving in the rain may be out of the question, we’re confident you can beat the relocation depression by pedaling through Portland any given day. They’ve increased protected bicycle lane mileage and paths during the last few years and worked on including more underprivileged areas of town in the cycling system.

Portland, OR ranking:

  • Bikeability score: 82/100
  • Percentage of bicycle users: 5,2%
  • Population: 650,000
  • Overall index: 86/100
an image of people playing in a street fountain in Portland, OR overlay
What city do most people ride bicycles in? It's Portland, Oregon, for sure.

Seattle, Washington Was Built for Experienced and Inexperienced Cyclists Alike

As we already mentioned, Washington is the greatest bicycle state in the USA. Washington’s most populated metropolitan area, Seattle, is also on the list of the most convenient places to cycle to work and commute by bicycle daily. This place can give you so many reasons to move, and being bicycle-heavy should definitely be one of them.

In Seattle, there are bicycle lanes protected by concrete buffers, which is quite a high-quality protection for people who participate in traffic this way. They take lane protection seriously, and even on traffic lights, when cyclists pull over to wait for the green light, they have lean rails to rest and lean on.

Seattle averages 165 days of precipitation per year, but you can still hire cross-country moving services and take a leap of faith by relocating with pets here. It’s not only among the best bicycle towns but also the coolest place to live with your pets and explore the great outdoors.

Seattle, WA ranking:

  • Bikeability score: 70/100
  • Percentage of bicycle users: 3,7%
  • Population: 737,000
  • Overall index: 90/100
a view of a Seattle, WA street and a lone bicycle in the distance overlay
Seattle is the answer to the question of which city has the best bike life.

The Entire Family Can Cycle Around Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a bicycle haven. Minnesota’s most populous place isn’t only a mecca for cyclists, though. It’s an incredible place to consider moving to, whether you intend on moving alone, but especially if you’re moving with kids.

Fun fact about Minneapolis – it was projected by an urban planner called Horace W.S. Cleveland, who believed urban areas should have as many green spaces as possible. Thanks to him, Minneapolis is considered one of the best-designed, financed, and maintained in America.

Because of the fantastic planner Horace Cleveland, Minneapolis boasts an incredible 41 miles of protected bicycle lanes across town. This lane network is the most organized out of all networks, and it provides commuters with an easy, stress-free ride.

Minneapolis, MN ranking:

  • Bikeability score: 83/100
  • Percentage of bicycle users: 3,9%
  • Population: 429,000
  • Overall index: 82/100

The man in the video below took up bicycling last year after the lockdown, and he shared his impressions as a beginner cyclist. He gives some excellent tips for first-time bikers, which may be helpful for you.

New York City Remains Champion of Bicycle-Friendly Cities

The trip: Bike-friendly cities, USA. The destination: New York City, the one metropolis that could cause you excitement and anxiety about moving at the same time. Something that’s truly more exciting than scary about NYC is that it’s one of the most convenient bicycle places in the US.

While we can’t give you any house hunting tips for this major place, we can tell you that getting on your bicycle at any time of day to beat adjustment insomnia might just work in NYC. It may be surprising because of the city’s eternal chaos, but the local authorities have been working on providing equal opportunities for bicycle commuters since 2014 and have built as many as 460 miles of protected bicycle lanes across the five boroughs.

NYC’s authorities are also working on optimizing intersections for bicyclists since most accidents happen at large intersections. Most cyclists can use pedestrian signals to go ahead, which gives them an advantage and increased visibility. The rise of bicycle traffic in NYC has shown an increase in the city’s safety and a growing number of bicycle users.

NYC ranking:

  • Bikeability score: 70/100
  • Percentage of bicycle users: 1,3%
  • Population: 8,800,000
  • Overall index: 59/100
a view of a packed street in NYC overlay
NYC has proven itself and got put on the map of the most bicycle-packed places.

People of Chicago, Illinois Know How to Cycle to Success

Chicago, Illinois, was the most convenient place for bicyclists a few times. It went up and down on the scale because the local authorities were slow in upgrading protection for existing bicycle lanes and adding new ones to the network.

For example, moving to the suburbs or downtown of Chicago will be more beneficial for you as a cyclist because the network there is relatively low-stress. Relocating to a big city like that is no joke, and deciding to commute by bicycle may be an even crazier idea. However, similar to Seattle, Chicago is working on upgrading its plastic lane protectors to concrete.

Springfield might be the capital, but that doesn’t mean that other cities are forgotten.  That being said, uban planning solutions in Chicago garner around $50 million in funding yearly, and the city’s authorities intend to make the network even more stress-free. So, while it may not provide the cheapest way to move, you can still call up a cross-country moving company to help you settle in Chicago, Illinois, and enjoy one of the first-developed bicycle networks in the country.

Chicago, IL ranking:

  • Bikeability score: 73/100
  • Percentage of bicycle users: 1,5%
  • Population: 2,700,000
  • Overall index: 72/100
a view of a park and some skyscrapers in Chicago, Illinois overlay
Chicago is the original bicycle mecca, and it remains relevant in developing bicycle networks.

Move With Your Bicycle and Push the Pedal to the Metal

What anyone should remember when moving during coronavirus is to stay protected while long-distance movers do their work. The other thing to remember after the moving process is to take things slow. If you relocate for the first time, it may be a bit hard to sit on a bicycle and start conquering every lane in town immediately.

You should take a few days or even weeks to study the bicycle network, traffic, and how commuters behave. This is the safest way to be a newbie in the bicycling world and get to know your new home. To have a stress-free relocation, prepare by learning all the statistics and stay enthusiastic about your reasons for moving.


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