Best Biking Cities

Two wheels, a chain, and some gears — the humble bicycle has seen a resurgence with commuters and city dwellers around the world. In my story this month for Travel+Leisure magazine — “The World’s Top Biking Cities” — I highlight 10 cities around the globe where infrastructure has been built to promote bicycling on many fronts.

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Bicycle parking garage in Amsterdam

Like many of the world’s best biking cities, my home town of Minneapolis has created a citywide system over the past few years to make transportation on a bike efficient, safe, and hassle-free. Indeed, in Minneapolis — city No. 9 on the list below — we have bike lockers, on-street painted lanes, recreational trails, and plows budgeted to clear bike paths when it snows. A substantial bike-share program, Nice Ride Minnesota, launches in spring 2010.

“A city is successful when a bike can be among the best options to get around,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, an advocacy group in Washington D.C.

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Velib bike-share kiosk in Paris

From Amsterdam to Perth, Australia, people more than ever now bank on bicycles as low polluting, cost effective, and healthy means to move about. Whether your plans include seeing the world on a bike or just getting across town, “The World’s Top Biking Cities” can serve as your guide.

Travel+Leisure’s Top Biking Cities
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
3. Portland, Ore.
4. Munich, Germany
5. Montreal, Canada
6. Perth, Australia
7. Seattle, Wash.
8. Paris, France
9. Minneapolis, Minn.
10. Bogotá, Colombia

See the full story here:

Posted by RYAN - 07/02/2009 10:46 AM

Boulder CO?????

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 07/02/2009 12:34 PM

Boulder is a top place, for sure. Just biked there in March. But we wanted to look at only larger cities for this story. Boulder was on our initial list, but then we decided it was too small population-wise to be a fit with Paris and the like.

Posted by Ryan Dionne - 07/02/2009 02:47 PM

I was pulling for Boulder as well, but I’m glad to see Minneapolis, Portland and Seattle on there.

Posted by Extreme Tolerance - 07/02/2009 04:52 PM

As soon as I read the title I knew Portland would be on the list. Right now its prefect weather to ride your bike.

Posted by Jon Scott - 07/02/2009 05:03 PM

Perth!? I’m surprised any Australian cities are on there really but I would have thought Melbourne would have trumped it…

Posted by jpea - 07/03/2009 08:34 AM

Props to Mpls. Funny, cause I was in Boulder yesterday and thought “man, would have to ditch my fixie if I moved here”

Posted by Mike - 07/03/2009 11:00 AM

You might not believe this, but Anchorage has an incredible bike path system. There are paved trails through green belts with bridges or tunnels across roads and along the coast, all linking to dirt trails through various large city parks. Hundreds of miles of trails in town, and the paved ones are even lit and groomed in the winter for xc skiing!

Posted by Michael Burch - 07/03/2009 11:08 AM

I’ve biked in Boulder, CO and find it amazing. Every city should be set up the same way and make a point of enabling bikers to get around safely.

Posted by Gale Teschendorf - 07/03/2009 03:59 PM

They must have gone to Minneapolis, Minn. in the summer, the other 9 months would have resulted in a different opinion. Do they have a 18.5 mile lakefront path like Chicago?

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 07/03/2009 08:11 PM

Gale — We bike year ‘round in Mpls.! See here:

Posted by Norm in Boulder - 07/04/2009 02:59 PM

Maybe Boulder can qual as the best small city – they even plow the bike trails BEFORE the streets after a snowstorm!

Posted by Chuck Mattina - 07/05/2009 07:13 PM

Paris? I love the bike rental system, but not sure how comfortable I’d feel tooling around in the traffic there!

Posted by Bill Sherman - 07/10/2009 11:58 AM

The bike system set up in Paris is incredible. The kiosks are everywhere around town and cost 1 Euro for 30 minutes which is still cheaper than the metro (1.40 Euro) and usually faster. There are bike lanes all around the city. I was impressed when I visited in April.

Posted by nate - 07/27/2009 09:35 PM

Mike, while Anchorage does have a brilliant recreational bike trail system, the utility rider is much less served. Drivers are outright hostile, and the city bikeways are not maintained well. The system is fine in Anchorage unless you actually want to get anywhere.

Posted by Thiago daLuz - 04/10/2013 02:09 PM

Man, I just keep hearing good things about Boulder. I think my town is catching on to the trend. There’s a hotel renovation going to make it a little more bike accessible, so that’s nice.

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