Cycling has long been one of the easiest and most effective ways to exercise: It’s low-impact and good for your coordination, and you can start off going much farther on a bike than you can running or walking. It’s also excellent for toning and building your muscles, especially in the lower half of the body — e.g. your calves, your thighs, and your rear.
In addition to its numerous health benefits, the bicycle is also an efficient mode of human transportation. It’s so efficient and affordable, in fact, that it’s the world’s most widely used transport vehicle.
May is National Bike Month, and to celebrate, we’ve rounded up the country’s top six bike-friendliest cities based on a variety of factors including segregated bike lanes, municipal bike racks, bike boulevards, local government support, savvy bike stores, and a vibrant and diverse bike culture. Read on to learn more about the best cities to exercise — and explore! — on two wheels.
6. San Francisco, California
Known as one of the country’s most beautiful cities, San Francisco is also a great place to ride a bike. Cycling has surged in recent years, thanks largely in part to community support for an improved cycling infrastructure. Commuter rails within the city allow bicycles, and there’s also a bike shuttle across the Bay Bridge during the “dreaded rush hour commute.” Another initiative, Vision Zero, focuses on substantially reducing cyclist — and pedestrian — fatalities with a goal to end all traffic-related deaths within 10 years. For both residents and tourists alike, the free SF Bike and Walking Guide is an excellent resource; indicating the grade of street so you can avoid — or seek out — the steepest hills.