The Best and Worst Cities in the U.S. for Riding a Bike
More people are switching gears. Biking is the hot new mode of transportation, according to Bicycling magazine, which just released its 2014 list of the 50 most bike-friendly cities in America. Biking is growing even in places you might not expect (read: outside of hipster enclaves like Portland and San Francisco).
New York City took the top spot this year, a jump from 7th place in 2012. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, thousands of people in the Big Apple choose a combination of biking and public transit for their daily commutes. (The year-old Citi Bike sharing program and aggressive expansion of bike lanes likely helped there.) Chicago and Minneapolis came in second and third, respectively.
The rankings are based on key stats like the amount of bike lanes or paths per square mile, the number of people per bike-share, and a safety score.
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So who's on the bottom of the list? Bicycling dubbed Suffolk County, Long Island, as the worst place in America for cyclists. Suffolk is regularly ranked as one of the most dangerous places for bikers in the country. It seems that while urban populations have prioritized cycling, the surrounding suburbs, like Suffolk, lack the same resources and enthusiasm for biking. It's ironic that Suffolk, the worst city (er, county), lies only 40 miles east of New York, the newly crowned best city.
No matter where you live, cycling can be a convenient way to get around. Bonus: it can torch 500 calories per hour. Ready to hit the road? Check out our everything guide on how to start biking.