Do you want to live longer and slow global warming? Cycle. There are around two billion bicycles in use worldwide, according to the World Economic Forum, and cycling is growing in popularity, with a pandemic surge in interest leading to bicycle shortages around the world.
Once you have been in the saddle for some time and have bought your balance bikes, many factors can affect your quality of life as a cyclist. LawnStarter recently rated the best and worst US cities for cycling by rating each of the top 200 cities across 18 metrics across four categories – weather; Access to bike routes, bike shops and bike rental programs; Security; and community support for cycling organizations and groups.
Despite its huge hills, San Francisco is one step ahead. Enigmatic? Not so much when you consider the bike-friendly climate and community values (both in seventh place among the 200 cities). San Francisco has the most bike lanes per square mile, with five other California cities – Stockton, Fremont, Hayward, Santa Rosa, and Modesto – which contributed to its access rating.
The fewest bike lanes per square mile were found in Dallas and Memphis, which ranked 140th and 177th overall. Cities in the southern United States generally fell at the bottom of the list due to their hot and humid climates, with Baton Rouge, LA finishing last. A challenging climate means fewer cyclists, which in turn means less access and support from the community, which lowers rankings in all categories.
In New York, cycling is growing almost twice as fast as in other major American cities, with about three times as many riders as it was 15 years ago. According to the city's transport ministry, that is around 900,000 regular passengers. The recently implemented plan of the Green Wave (the name alludes to the color of the cycle paths) aims to increase safety through more protected lanes. Despite all of this, New York ended up in 19th place, dragged down by low scores for its climate, which can get too cold (and icy) for months for most cyclists.
Below are the 10 best cities for cyclists and the 10 worst according to LawnStarter.