• Pedal your way to these cycling cities for National Bike Month

    2014-05-12

    As cyclists celebrate the return of spring weather, cities across the U.S. are participating in National Bike Month. Throughout May, the League of American Bicyclists encourages people to pedal wherever they need to go and rewards those who keep a record of their rides. The organization also designates one week of the month as Bike to Work Week and the last day of that week as Bike to Work Day. Communities all over the country hold their own events to support local cycling culture and educate citizens about biking's benefits and best practices. Bike Easy Bay in Oakland, California, for example, will set up a one-block protected bike lane to demonstrate the concept to riders, according to its website.

    Bike Friendly Communities
    The League also recognizes Bicycle Friendly Communities, cities and towns that demonstrate a commitment to increasing bike traffic and making cyclists safe through the use of designated lanes, trails and any other pro-pedaling program. Some BFCs appeared on a recent Travel Channel list of the best cities for United States travel by bike. Two-wheeled tourists should keep these cities in mind this summer.

    Cycling in the city
    Portland, Oregon, is home to more cyclists than any other city in the U.S, according to Travel Channel. The city has a number of bike rental shops, with a citywide bike sharing program in the works, and is home to Forest Park, the largest such preserve in any U.S. city. Forest Park is full of mountain bike trails for when you want a ride in the city that feels like a nature hike.

    Desert towns are not often the first places to come up when discussing bike-friendly locales, but Tucson, Arizona, may help to change that. More than 700 miles of bike lanes have been built in the city, and the nearby Santa Catalina Mountains offer more rugged riding terrain for an adventure travel trip.

    On the other end of the spectrum lies Minneapolis, Minnesota. Those who can brave the often frigid conditions will find a pleasant ride on the city's mostly flat streets, making it a good bike destination for family travel. The country's second largest population of cyclists enjoy 120 miles of bikeways here, thanks in part to an enthusiastic community and a bike share program.

    New York City is a big challenge for new riders, but for the bold, it offers an exhilarating ride and wonderful urban views. The city also has the largest bike share program in the U.S., with 6,000 rentals available. If you're not ready to jump into the fray of cycling in Manhattan traffic, the Hudson River Greenway offers 11 miles of protected pedaling.

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