Activities and Interests

The Top 10 Bike Friendly States In the U.S., Plus Where Yours Ranks

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Bike path in Los Angeles (Photo Credit: clayton harrison / Shutterstock.com)

May is National Bike Month, which, as the League of American Bicyclists explains, is intended to celebrate biking as a form of transportation. There’s more to it than that, however, because biking is also a form of recreation, and is “essential to our well-being and everyday lives,” the League explains.

While National Bike Month, which was established in 1956, runs throughout May, you may be most familiar with two key events. The first is Bike to Work Week, which will take place from May 16–22 this year. You may also be familiar with Bike to Work Day, which is Friday, May 20 this year.

The League, of course, promotes National Bike Month, but its guiding mission is “to lead the movement to create a bicycle friendly America for everyone.”

As part of that mission, the League evaluates all 50 states each year, including each one’s communities, businesses, and universities to determine how “bicycle friendly” each state is. The results provide a ranking for all 50 states based on four public data sources and a Bicycle Friendly State survey answered by each state’s Department of Transportation, or statewide bicycle advocacy organization.

The data analyzed for the Bicycle Friendly State ranking takes into account bicycle friendly actions taken by each state, which are actions the League considers key indicators of a state’s commitment to improving bicycling.

According to the League’s analysis, each state is graded in five categories to help identify areas where they may make improvements, and to also help citizens and bicycle advocates better understand “the relative strengths and weaknesses of their state relative to other states.” The five categories are Infrastructure & Funding, Education & Encouragement, Traffic Laws & Practices, Policies & Programs, and Evaluation & Planning.

With that in mind, let’s get to it. Here are the top 10 Bicycle Friendly States as ranked by the League of American Bicyclists.

1. Massachusetts

Massachusetts has 15 bicycle friendly communities, including Boston, Newton, and Waltham. The state is also home to 35 bicycle friendly businesses, such as John Hancock and Boston Children’s Hospital. Finally, seven bicycle friendly universities are in Massachusetts, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Boston University – Charles River Campus.

You can find Massachusetts’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

2. Oregon

The state of Oregon has 12 bicycle friendly communities. As you may expect, they include Portland, Eugene, and Beaverton. There are 28 bicycle friendly businesses in Oregon, such as Keen, as well as five bicycle friendly universities, including Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and Oregon State University.

You can find Oregon’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

3. Washington

It isn’t surprising that Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma are among the 19 bicycle friendly communities in Washington. The state is also home to 47 bicycle friendly businesses, including Facebook Seattle and Starbucks, and three bicycle friendly universities including Gonzaga University.

You can find Washington’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

4. California

California has 64 bicycle friendly communities, including Los Angeles, Mountain View, Oakland, Redwood City, and San Francisco. The state is also home to 124 bicycle friendly businesses, including Lockheed Martin Space Systems, and 23 bicycle friendly universities. Those universities include Loyola Marymount University, Cal Polytechnic, Stanford University, as well as numerous University of California and California State University campuses.

You can find California’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

5. Minnesota

There are 33 bicycle friendly communities in Minnesota, such as Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Saint Paul. Meanwhile, the list of 108 bicycle friendly businesses includes 3M Company, Target Corporation, Mayo Clinic Rochester, and International Business Machines (IBM) Rochester. There are seven bicycle friendly universities in Minnesota, including Concordia College, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

You can find Minnesota’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

6. Colorado

Colorado is known for its biking opportunities, so it’s only natural that the state has 23 bicycle friendly communities, including Aspen, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Golden, and Steamboat Springs. The state is also home to 103 bicycle friendly businesses, such as OtterBox and Hewlett Packard, and eight bicycle friendly universities. The list of bicycle friendly universities includes Colorado State University, University of Colorado – Boulder, and University of Colorado – Colorado Springs.

You can find Colorado’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

7. Virginia

Arlington, Charlottesville, Norfolk, and Williamsburg are among the 14 bicycle friendly communities in Virginia. Virginia is also home to 58 bicycle friendly businesses like the Nature Conservancy. Finally, there are nine bicycle friendly universities in Virginia including Virginia Commonwealth University, the College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, and University of Virginia.

You can find Virginia’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

8. Florida

Cape Coral, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Sanibel, St. Petersburg, and Tallahassee are key cities among Florida’s 27 bicycle friendly communities. The state is also home to a staggering 150 bicycle friendly businesses, including AARP Tampa Bay, the City of St. Petersburg, and Tampa International Airport. Meanwhile, you’ll find University of Florida, Florida State University, and Florida Institute of Technology on the list of the seven bicycle friendly universities in Florida.

You can find Florida’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

9. Delaware

Delaware has three bicycle friendly communities, including Dover and Newark, and two bicycle friendly businesses: The City of Newark and the Delaware Department of Transportation.

You can find Delaware’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

10. Utah

The list of Utah’s 11 bicycle friendly communities includes Salt Lake City, Ogden, St. George City, and Provo. There are also 31 bicycle friendly businesses in Utah, such as the Utah Department of Health, Petzl America, City of Moab, and Salt Lake City Corporation. Finally, Utah has three bicycle friendly universities: Brigham Young University, University of Utah, and Utah State University.

You can find Utah’s Bicycle Friendly Report Card here.

Finally, if your state isn’t on the League of American Bicyclists’ top 10 Bicycle Friendly States, you can find its ranking as well as the ranking for other states not on the list, here.

Be sure to read the rest of our biking content, including:

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