Top 50 Bike Friendly Cities Around the World

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My partner, daughter, and I came to a decision—we were going to have a cycling vacation.

But where to go? We had no idea of the best locations for riding, either in or out of the USA. With our time off work limited—we knew an incorrect choice would lead to disappointment.

Hence, I resolved to find the top bike friendly cities in the world.

My pick of the six most bike friendly cities:

  • Amsterdam.
  • New York City.
  • Copenhagen.
  • Minneapolis.
  • Melbourne.
  • Bogotá.

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Top 20 Bike Friendly Cities in the USA

 

If you’re lucky enough to live in the USA, you have access to over 13000 miles of dedicated cycling routes, paths, and lanes, covering 26 different states.

And that’s a lot of tarmac to cover.

Much of this impressive system either functions as intercounty connectors or countryside paths. But what about the cities themselves?

Here’s my pick of the best bike cities in America.

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1. New York City, NY

The Big Apple, with almost five million motor vehicles on its roads, doesn’t immediately spring to mind as a bike-friendly city. Yet, every year it becomes more favorable for the riding enthusiast.

Currently, this metropolis is introducing cycle-priority intersections—crossings where the bike goes first while cars wait, allowing riders to have vital additional seconds to clear the junction—and be more visible to car drivers.

There are over 350 miles of new cycle lanes, many of which are protected from motor traffic by concrete barricades.

Plus, one of New York’s major tourist and recreational attractions, Central Park, is entirely car-free—offering six miles of uninterrupted riding pleasure.

2. Minneapolis, MN

Thank Horace Cleveland for the astounding biking opportunities in the largest of the Twin Cities. This visionary 19th-century town planner ensured that the town was full of green parks, which means miles of traffic-free routes and paths.

Safe cycling isn’t only in these recreational areas. For over 20 years, Minneapolis has been working on raising the number of on-road bike lanes. Since 2016, all new road designs must prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over buses and cars.

And, being prone to some rather inclement weather in the winter months, the city commits to clearing all bicycle paths of snow within 24 hours.

3. Seattle, WA

Washington State’s largest city is undoubtedly one of the most bike friendly cities in the world.

Cyclists are at the forefront when it comes to road design. Not only are there miles of bespoke bike-only lanes—but they’re also heavily protected. There are none of the plastic bollards seen in many cities that can easily be traversed by traffic. Instead, riders have the security of durable concrete buffers.

At many intersections, the road-planners have installed rails—giving two-wheeled travelers somewhere to lean on while waiting for the stoplights to change.

And, if you want a cycling vacation but don’t have the facility to take your bike with you—the city offers three different bike-share schemes.

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4. San Francisco, CA

It’s probably not an understatement to say that San Francisco is one of the most improved biking cities in the USA.

Back in 2010, this Californian-conurbation didn’t have any protected bike lanes. Today, it boasts over 20 miles of these car-free havens, with a further seven in the pipeline.

The city has committed to a $90 million spending plan, not just to raise the number of cycle paths, but also to install 2250 new bike racks and provide bike education in 45 local schools.

5. Chicago, IL

Chicago is possibly one of the best biking cities for those riders who love being near water.

This is because the city boasts the 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail—a motor vehicle-free path that runs alongside the beautiful Lake Michigan. And, while currently, this is a shared space for pedestrians and bikers, a $12 million spending plan is working towards separating these two groups.

If that doesn’t rock your world, and you want to explore the historical streets, Chicago has 200 miles of protected and buffered cycle lanes—and an immense 13000 bike racks, allowing you to dismount, park and explore on foot.

6. Washington, DC

You have to admire Washington for its commitment to cycling—both in schools and the workplace.

The nation’s capital has pledged to teach every second-grader how to ride a bike. This ensures social, familial, or economic factors don’t prevent kids from gaining this life skill.

And, for these children’s parents, Washington introduced the DC Commuter scheme. It states that companies with 20 employees or more must offer benefits for transport—including reimbursing bicycle expenses.

For your vacation, look at tackling the 20-mile beautiful Anacostia River Trail.

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7. Cambridge, MA

The cycle-scene in Cambridge grew out of necessity.

In just seven-small miles—this city packs in 106k residents, tech-companies, and Harvard University. Hence, space for vehicles is sparse—making cycling the easiest way to get around.

Currently, Cambridge has 25.8 miles of biking lanes, with 16 more in planning over the next 15 years—according to the 2015 Cambridge Bicycle Network Plan. Most popular amongst leisure cyclists is the Charles River Bicycle trail—a circular route covering 23 miles.

The city council has an official bicycle committee, which both promotes biking events and works towards safer facilities for two-wheelers.

8. Denver, CO

When it comes to the number of workers who commute to work by bicycle, Denver ranks sixth in the U.S. at 2.2 percent.

While a good sign, the city knew it could do better. With $18 million of funding, it’s pledged to create a further 125 miles of bicycle paths over the next five years.

If you want to get out of the city, you’re spoilt for choice. However, personally, I’d suggest the nearby 8.8-mile Cherry Creek Reservoir—or for those wanting a more challenging route—the 52-mile Golden Gate Canyon Loop.

9. Austin, TX

This city has gained a reputation for being one of the best cities for biking in the whole of Texas.

Despite being known as a motor city and being the long-term residence of the US Formula One Grand Prix—this metropolis is pushing away from the gasoline guzzlers.

In many areas, the highway authorities are removing car lanes and replacing them with bicycle paths. In many streets, automobile parking areas are prohibited, promoting cycle use.

It’s no surprise that 57 percent of students and staff at the University of Texas use two-wheelers to commute to campus.

There are numerous city and downtown routes to cycle and, if you don’t own a bike—you can use the Austin B-cycle sharing program.

10. Boulder, CO

Nestling at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the outskirts of Boulder are some of the most naturally beautiful areas to cycle in the USA.

However, for more urban riding—it’s equally attractive.

With over 300 days of sunshine per year—Boulder is a solid choice for the vacationing cyclist. There are over 300 miles of bicycle routes—which includes 96 cycle-only lanes and 84-miles of multi-use sidewalks.

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11. Boston, MA

During the early 2000s, traffic congestion was becoming so severe in Boston that it was preventing economic growth.

The Mayor, Thomas Menino, vowed to improve the situation by vastly improving the cycle network. This culminated in 2012 with him declaring,

The car is no longer king in Boston!

Over a period of just three years, he introduced 65 miles of bike routes and doubled the number of employees cycling to work. It enabled Boston to have one of the highest rates of commuting in the USA. Mayor Thomas Merino then instigated the Bluebike share scheme—boasting over 3000 bikes and 300 stations.

Some of the most popular cycling routes include Deer Island and the Arnold Arboretum.

12. Oakland, CA

They say—imitation is the highest form of flattery—an ethos that Oakland took on board.

Seeing how impressively New York improved its bike-friendliness, Oakland stole the brains behind it: transportation planner Ryan Russo.

He quickly provided a massive growth in the city’s cycle network. By winter 2018, Oakland had 160 miles of bikeways and 9900 cycle parking spaces.

I recommend taking the 3.4-mile circuit of Lake Merritt for a leisurely nature-driven ride while staying within the confines of the city limits—much of which has protected bike lanes.

13. Long Beach, CA

In 2017, Long Beach unveiled its Bicycle Master Plan—a comprehensive document that looks ahead for the next 25 years. It aims to make Long Beach the most cycle-friendly city in the USA.

Its targets include making 10 percent of all transportation journeys by bicycle in the next ten years—and increasing by a further 10 percent every decade.

Currently, Long Beach has 130 miles of bikeways. Combine this with warm summers and mild winters—and you have the ideal city for being on two wheels.

One of the most popular routes is the Long Beach Bikepath—a 4.5-mile stretch along the Pacific Ocean, stretching from the downtown Shoreline Village through to Belmont Shore.

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14. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia was always going to be a challenge for cycling improvement. Many of the older streets are incredibly narrow, while the major roads have seriously high levels of traffic.

The city’s dedication to biking is impressive.

In 2018, it began its Hub and Spoke program—aiming at tripling the number of cyclists. And while this still has a little way to go, currently the city is surprisingly two-wheel friendly.

It has 200 miles of bike lanes, a comprehensive circuit trail network, and an Indego bike-sharing facility. It proudly has a 2.6 percent rate of bicycle commuters—more than any other large US city.

15. Tucson, AZ

With a seriously dry climate and flat terrain, Tucson is a city perfectly suited for cycling.

Perhaps its biggest boast is The Loop—a 131-mile network of car-free trails and paths spanning the Tucson metro region. This route follows the Santa Cruz River—and is peppered with stop-offs with bathrooms, drinking fountains, shades, and benches.

A 2017 Bicycle Master Plan pledges to deliver over 190 miles of new bike boulevards—roads that favor cyclists by slowing traffic and offering some protected lanes.

16. New Orleans, LA

Despite being the most populous city in Louisiana, New Orleans was somewhat slow to cater for cyclists—only building its first cycle lane in 2008. This is a little surprising, since its flat topography, easy street-grid system, and warm winters are perfect for two wheels.

Since then, New Orleans has become one of the most bike friendly cities.

You can now enjoy over 37 miles of bike paths—including 4.5 miles of protected lanes. Tulane University converted the main thoroughfare through its Uptown campus into a pedestrian and bicycle-only route.

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17. Cleveland, OH

The second-largest city in Ohio is divided in two by the Cuyahoga River. For many years, bridge crossings were highly dangerous for cyclists—due to the high volume of motorized traffic.

But, a $4.5 million project in 2017 provided protected lanes on the Detroit Superior Bridge, allowing enthusiastic riders to travel from West to East sides of the city.

The picture is similar across the town—more and more street-painted bike lanes are appearing together with cycle-specific traffic lights—especially on commuter trails and around tourist attractions.

For an urban ride, consider the Lakefront Bikeway, which stretches along the Erie shoreline.

18. Indianapolis, IN

For town-center riding that takes in all of the available leisure attractions—Indianapolis has to be one of the most bike friendly cities in USA.

The draw for many cyclists is the eight-mile cultural trail. Admittedly, this isn’t exactly long-distance biking.

This route incorporates culturally significant locations such as White River State Park, Fountain Square, and Massachusetts Avenue. Allocate more than a full day if you want to experience it fully.

Additionally, it’s the home of the Indiana Pacers bike share program—over 525 public-use cycles with fifty stations across the city.

19. Memphis, TN

Memphis is a true cycling city—although sadly, this is possibly out of necessity more than choice.

With over one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line—residents have taken to two-wheels as a cheaper option to motor transport. But thankfully, city planners have responded by providing safe paths for these two-wheelers.

Since 2010, Memphis has gained 71.15 miles of dedicated space for cyclists. The number of shared-use paths has tripled over just three years.

For many biking tourists—the Shelby Farms Greenline trail is a must-ride.

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20. Fort Collins, CO

With generally flat terrain, Fort Collins is an ideal location for family or leisure cycling.

This is a city dedicated to promoting bike-friendly roads.

It boasts over 280 miles of expansive cycle lanes, together with 30 miles of multi-use paths.

And, for those riders who like a cold one, Fort Collins is a little piece of heaven. With numerous breweries, you can take in some liquid refreshment on-route. There’s even the ‘Tour de Fat’—an annual beer/bike carnival that raises money for non-profit cycling groups.

Top 20 Bike Friendly Cities in Europe

 

Depending on your definition of a cycle, the first bike either originated in Italy, Germany, or France.

Whichever is the correct answer—Europe is the home of the two-wheeler. It’s no surprise that this continent has some of the most incredible riding locations in the world.

Here are my top twenty picks:

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1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Not only one of the best bike cities in Europe, but it’s also possibly the most famous cycling town on the planet.

Remarkably, there are more cycles in Amsterdam than there are residents, with an average of 1.91 bikes per person.

Its narrow streets and many canals made motor vehicles’ use difficult, giving rise to the two-wheeler’s popularity. However, these features also make for some incredible riding routes.

With 320 miles of cycle lanes, flat terrain, and numerous bike tours—it’s a must for any traveling biker.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen is an authentic cycling city.

Research shows that an enormous 36 percent of workers and students use their bikes for commuting—reflected by the infrastructure.

It possesses around 250 miles of cycle-only traffic lanes. What’s more, many of these bike roads have their own traffic light signaling systems.

Additionally, Copenhagen is currently developing numerous ‘Super Bikeways’—cycle only routes which allow you to travel safely from the capital to neighboring cities. They’re recognizable by having prioritized snow removal in winter and automatic roadside air pumps.

3. Ghent, Belgium

Like its Dutch neighbor, Ghent is a biking hub.

One of its most appealing features is the one-way street system. In over 700 of these routes, cyclists may travel against the traffic—making riding around this city much easier on two-wheels.

Using the 250 miles of bike paths and 42 cycle bridges and tunnels, you can explore the world-famous Museum of Fine Arts, take in the Saint Bavo Cathedral—or just relax with some Belgian beer or chocolate.

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4. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest forms part of the EuroVelo system—an immense network of cycling routes covering an eye-watering 56000 miles.

However, you don’t have to leave the city to have an enjoyable experience.

It has over 110 miles of bicycle paths—with a plethora of professionally guided tours, allowing you to take in culturally important monuments and architecture on both sides of the famous Danube River.

One of its most popular cycling events is the annual Critical Mass ride—a huge biking celebration that attracts around 100k keen two-wheelers.

5. Bordeaux, France

At the center of one of the largest wine-growing areas in France—you can cycle merrily along country roads flanked by vineyards.

But for urbanophiles, Bordeaux will provide a picturesque environment through which to travel. Being a compact city, all the major tourist areas such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts and Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux are easily reachable on your bike.

Plus, if you’re a fan of competitive biking, this city houses the Vélodrome du Lac—which hosts UCI International Track Cycling events.

6. Paris, France

Images of the ten-lane Arc de Triomphe intersection would scare-off the most dedicated of cyclists. However, that’s not representative of Paris as a whole.

This city has 270 miles of bike paths—including piste cyclable (protected bike lanes) and bande cyclable (cycle paths indicated by paint markings on the road).

Many one-way streets permit bikers to cycle in either direction—much to the ire of the passionate Parisian motorist. It has a bike-sharing system, Vélib, with an estimated 20000 public bicycles located at 1800 stations.

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7. Dublin, Ireland

In the last 15 years, cities have come to recognize the importance of cycle lanes.

However, Dublin was ahead of the game.

It began installing bike-specific paths as early as 1990, which fuelled growth in bicycle use. The last census indicates that around 10 percent of all road traffic in the city was on two wheels.

Today, the capital of Ireland has 120 miles of cycle paths and provides the DublinBikes sharing scheme. Plus, if you want someone else to take the strain, you can be transported around Dublin on a pedicab (a three-wheeled rickshaw).

8. Malmö, Sweden

With a flat landscape—Malmo is one of the best bike cities in Europe for relaxed cruising.

Unlike many cities, the town planners don’t believe splashing some paint on a road automatically makes it a cycle route. Instead, they concentrate on purpose-built bike-only paths.

This cycle-friendly city incorporates:

  • Bicycle counters—on-street digital displays indicating the number of passing cyclists daily—giving you pride that you’re helping the environment.
  • Bicycle first system—sensors turn traffic signals green to allow bikes through.
  • Service stations—areas with automatic pumps, water, and basic tools.

9. Oxford, United Kingdom

The university city of Oxford has the UK’s second-largest proportion of people who cycle to work at 17 percent (after Cambridge).

Due to a large number of students—you see bicycles everywhere. With a history dating back over 1000 years, the narrow streets aren’t particularly well-suited to cars. This makes the city center a dream to cycle through.

If you don’t have your own bike, two dockless sharing schemes serve the town, Pony, and Mobike. Oxford is the first city in the UK (outside of London) that provides free bicycle tire pumping stations.

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10. Prague, Czech Republic

With its stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture—Prague is a beautiful city through which to take a leisurely cycle.

And it’s safe.

Prague has 111 miles of protected cycle paths, 30 miles of bike lanes, and 15 miles of bike-bus routes. Plus, you will not be alone. Around four percent of Prague residents commute on two wheels—although this falls to around two percent in winter due to the cold climate.

If your final destination is a little too far to cycle—or you’ve imbued one-too-many Czech beers—you can take your bike on the metro, trams, buses, and ferries—free of charge.

11. Ljubljana, Slovenia

This historic Slovenian city has a long history of cycling tradition.

The first cycling club, Der Laibacher Byciklistischer Club, was established by German residents back in 1885. It was at the forefront of bike safety by introducing cycle-only lanes in the 1960s.

Today, Ljubljana contains 143 miles of bike paths—which is highly impressive for a city with a population of less than 300k.

With generally flat terrain, it’s easy for cyclists of all abilities to travel around. Ljubljana is peppered with green spaces, parks, and museums to visit—and some gorgeous riverside cafes.

12. Strasbourg, France

With over 311 miles of bicycle paths, this city is one of the most bike friendly cities in France.

Home to numerous canals, Strasbourg is often a draw for tourists looking for water-based holidays. These beautiful aquatic features are ideal for two-wheelers.

Previously, their towpaths would be trodden by horses pulling the barges—but now they make excellent and flat cycleways.

Plus, if you want to explore the area a little further, Strasbourg is only two miles from the German border—allowing you to visit another country in just a few minute’s ride.

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13. Utrecht, The Netherlands

There’s one certainty when cycling in Utrecht—you don’t have to look hard to find somewhere to park your bike.

This Dutch city not only boasts a vast number of cycle racks across its 38 square miles, it’s also home to the world’s largest bike-parking garage—with space for 12500 bicycles.

Bike use is widespread, with over 33 percent of journeys in Utrecht on two-wheels. This city is impressive in its extensive network of cycle lanes—it’s challenging to find a road in Utrecht that doesn’t have a dedicated road space for two-wheelers.

14. Eindhoven, The Netherlands

If you’re a total cycling-nut—you have to visit Eindhoven.

This city houses the astounding Hovenring—the world’s only floating roundabout for cyclists. This suspended cycleway solved the problem of how to enable bikers to navigate a car-heavy intersection—just allow them to ride above it.

The novelty value doesn’t end there.

Take a night cycle on the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path. This solar-powered route seems like any regular lane by day—but at night, the ground illuminates—representing the Starry Night painting by Van Gogh.

15. Nantes, France

This city is a cycling destination in every sense of the word.

It is home to the 2015 International Cycling Congress Velocity and is on two of the Eurovelo networks (routes one and six).

Additionally, the cycle lanes are extensive—covering over 292 miles of bike-safe roadways.

But Nantes has gone further—anticipating the needs of traveling cyclists. It’s introduced bicycle-bag-only lockers—convenient if you’re touring on your cycle and don’t want to carry the full weight of your panniers while exploring.

Even if you don’t have a bike—you can take advantage of one of the four bike-hire programs across the town.

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16. Seville, Spain

While Spain isn’t particularly known as a cycling-country—it’s impressive to see the steps Seville has taken to cater for two-wheeled enthusiasts.

The capital of Andalusia began the Sevici Community Bicycle Program—delivering over 80 miles of cycle paths and providing 2500 bikes for hire.

These steps have worked—with bicycles now considered by its residents as an acceptable method of transport. In 2015, around nine percent of all transportation journeys were on two wheels.

17. Berlin, Germany

German efficiency is something of a stereotype—but when it comes to cycling—it’s perfectly apt.

It’s all about the numbers—385 miles of bicycle lanes, 93 miles of cycle-only paths, 118 miles of off-road bicycle routes, and 31 miles of bicycle lanes on sidewalks. The Germans knew they needed to cater to two-wheelers, so they built the infrastructure.

What’s more, if you’re riding anywhere a little further afield, cycles are allowed free of charge on night buses, trams, Regionalbahn, U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains.

18. Vienna, Austria

The Viennese tourist board says there’s only one way to explore their city—on two wheels.

And they’re right.

An astounding 870 miles of cycle paths allow you to navigate the city effortlessly. It means you miss the traffic when visiting such famous sites as the Spanish Riding, School, Vienna Zoo, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

You can rent one of many Citybikes—which are available from 121 stations across the Austrian capital.

19. Hamburg, Germany

If you fancy yourself as a competitive rider—take a trip to Hamburg.

Every year, the EuroEyes Cyclassics—a registered UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) event—allows members of the public to participate in the same 155-mile race as the professionals.

If you prefer more leisurely tours, use the impressive cycle path network to travel around the Alster Lake and through the Altes Land.

You can take your cycle free of charge on trains. Alternatively, just use a hire-bike from one of the 150 stations.

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20. Cambridge, United Kingdom

This city is the cycling capital of the UK—with 29 percent or residents cycling to work or college.

As a massive university city, high-bike usage is unsurprising. The fact that students have to apply for a special student-motor license (and not always approved) increases two-wheeled use even further.

Narrow and historic streets, many unsuitable for gas-vehicles, provide a plethora of routes to explore. Cambridge’s city center is entirely pedestrianized—but does allow cyclists to use its traffic-free paths.

Top 5 Bike Friendly Cities in Australia

 

In the area of cycle safety—Australia is a world leader.

In 1990, it introduced mandatory cycle-helmet use for all bikers. This had the strange effect of reducing adult cyclist numbers by 29 percent and younger riders by 42 percent.

However, since the year 2000, there has been a resurgence in cycling’s popularity—reflected in the steps taken by city planners to make the towns bike-friendly.

Here are my choices for the best bike cities in Australia.

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1. Melbourne, Victoria

In 2011, the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, pledged to make Melbourne, a true cycling city.

And, they’ve almost realized that dream.

In total, the bike trails, paths, and lanes now cover a distance of around 1180 miles—sufficient for even the most dedicated of long-distance cyclists.

What’s more, the city has taken steps to remove motor vehicle lanes and replace them with bicycle-only roadways. The most dramatic of which was to change part of the southbound route across Princes Bridge purely for those on two wheels.

With a vast network of rivers and creeks—Melbourne is an ideal destination for cyclists who love being alongside the water.

2. Sydney, New South Wales

If you want a challenge ‘down under’—Sydney is your city.

With some seriously steep topography, it’s a physical challenge that some may relish. And, with a mild and pleasant climate, there’s no excuse not to be on two wheels.

The city has spent significant funds on developing bike-specific paths, one of the most impressive is a route straight through Sydney’s CBD—extending from Harbour Bridge through to Anzac Bridge.

That said, there’s still a lot of work the town needs to address. Traffic lights still prioritize motorists, and only children under the age of 16 can cycle on sidewalks.

3. Hobart, Tasmania

As a compact city, Hobart is perfect for exploring on two wheels.

Around 33 percent of the residents of this island-state capital cycle. While there are numerous stretches of bike lanes in the city center—most leisure riders take to the old railway tracks in the suburbs for a more relaxing excursion.

One of the most popular is the Nieka Pipeline Track in the northern district. A 7.5-mile stretch running alongside the attractive River Derwent.

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4. Canberra, New South Wales

This city has an aim—to become the cycling capital of Australia.

And, they’re making steps in the right direction. The city boasts numerous bike-only and shared roadways—meaning that the 7.1 percent of cycling commuters have the ideal facilities.

Canberra has two primary bike-sharing schemes—Cycle Canberra, which will deliver your cycle to your home or hotel—and Share A Bike, offering the convenience of credit-card swipe bike stations across the city.

Lake Burley Griffin offers a beautiful (and city central) waterside ride on dedicated cycle paths.

5. Perth, Western Australia

This city is a perfect example of—if you build it, they will come.

Perth has allocated massive funds to improve its cycling network and facilities. In addition to bike-only and shared routes, the city has created:

  • Shelters—secure locking sheds located at train and bus stations.
  • Lockers—450 areas to leave your bike, tools, and panniers.
  • Racks—200 locations on, or near, bus stations and train platforms.

These improvements led to cycle usage in the city rising by an eye-watering 450 percent.

It doesn’t end there.

The 2017 Principal Shared Path program aims to deliver even more cycle-safe routes throughout the CBD and environs.

Be warned. Perth is the third windiest city in the world—so being on two wheels can sometimes be hard work.

Top 5 Bike Friendly Cities in South America

 

When the weather is too cold to cycle in the winter—head to the southern hemisphere, and you can enjoy your favorite hobby in more pleasant conditions.

Take a look at the best bike cities in South America.

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1. Bogotá, Columbia

Located in the Andes mountains, Bogotá is the ideal city to cycle—whether in or out of town.

Have you ever wondered what cycling would be like with no motor vehicles? If so, you can experience it here.

Every Sunday; from 7 am to 2 pm, this city closes its roads to cars—known as the Ciclovía (Bicycle Way). Admittedly, you may have to fight for space against the roller skaters, scooter riders and skateboarders—but it’s a welcome and peaceful haven in one of the busiest capitals in the world.

For the rest of the week, you can take advantage of Bogotá’s 186 miles of ciclorrutas (bicycle paths) and take in the amazing and wildly colored architecture. Alternatively, ride the 5.5-mile scenic route up to the beautiful little town of La Calera.

2. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Like their Spanish counterparts in Seville, Buenos Aires has shown that it’s possible, with investment, to quickly become one of the most bike friendly cities.

Argentina’s capital has built 68.35 miles of bicycle-protected lanes, with another 62 miles planned over the next few years. Additionally, there are 31 automated bike-sharing stations—allowing you to obtain one of 850 cycles through your smartphone.

One of the prettiest riding routes is the Costanera Norte—a journey along the river which takes in the University, airport, and planetarium.

3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Cycle paths first appeared in Rio back in 1992, when city governors decided to build rideways along the beach fronts.

Today, they’ve expanded into the center of Rio, now covering a distance of 280 miles. This makes it the second-largest cycle network in Latin America.

This sprawling metropolis has a shared bike scheme called SAMBA (Sistema de Bicicletas Públicas). With 600 cycles located across 60 stations, you can pick up one of these units by purchasing a daily or monthly pass through your smartphone.

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4. Santiago, Chile

A few years ago, there was a Chilean TV advert featuring a cyclist, with the tagline, Cómprate un auto, perico!—basically, buy yourself a car, man!

For many years, that was the attitude in Santiago—bikes were for losers. But now, that’s changing.

In 2006, cycling use in the capital was two percent—today, it’s more than six. This is, in part, due to the city’s investment in cycle lanes. It follows Bogotá’s lead by closing 25 miles of roads to motorized traffic on Sunday mornings.

For a pleasant in-town ride, take in the Parque Metropolitano—a green haven in the center of the city, twice the size of New York’s Central Park.

5. Montevideo, Uruguay

It’s true—Montevideo doesn’t have the cycle infrastructure of many of its South American neighbors. But, although a massive city, covering an area of 77.5 square miles, the easy road layout means it’s a simple metropolis to explore. Your bike, a map, and you’re off.

Perhaps the most influential draw for cycling tourists is the Rambla. This 17-mile esplanade runs along the length of Montevideo—UNESCO includes it in its World Heritage List.

On the Rambla, and across the city, there are numerous bike-sharing stations from two schemes—Orange Bike and Movete.

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Most Bike Friendly Cities Around the World Summary

 

That’s it!

In this comprehensive list of the most bike friendly cities in the world—there’s something for everyone—from the bold adventure seeker to the more leisurely rider.

Just because you’re going on vacation doesn’t mean you and your family’s cycling has to cease for two weeks. And, with so many bike-sharing schemes across the world—you don’t have to worry about taking your cycles with you!

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