Top 50 bike-friendly cities in U.S.; Minneapolis, Portland, Boulder top list

The 50 best cities in America to ride a bike, according to the experts at Bicycling magazine.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Which of America's cities are best to take out your shiny new Schwinn and just ride, Sally, ride?

The good folks at Bicycling magazine have assembled a list of the 50 best cities, based on data from the Alliance for Biking and Walking's Bicycling and Walking in the United States 2010 Benchmarking Report; the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly America project; research by Mediamark Research, Dun & Bradstreet and The Nielsen Company; and advice from national and local bike advocates.

The results? A few surprises among the friendly towns that populate the list.

For example, one of the coldest cities in the union tops the bunch, and traffic-clogged metropolises make an unexpectedly strong showing.

Here's the list:

1. Minneapolis, Minn.
2. Portland, Ore.
3. Boulder, Colo.
4. Seattle, Wash.
5. Eugene, Ore.
6. San Francisco, Calif.
7. Madison, Wisc.
8. New York, N.Y.
9. Tucson, Ariz.
10. Chicago, Ill.
11. Austin, Texas
12. Denver, Colo.
13. Washington, D.C.
14. Ann Arbor, Mich.
15. Phoenix/Tempe, Ariz.
16. Gainesville, Fla.
17. Albuquerque, N.M.
18. Colorado Springs, Colo.
19. Salem, Ore.
20. Scottsdale, Ariz.
21. Louisville, Ken.
22. Chattanooga, Tenn.
23. Long Beach, Calif.
24. Cary, N.C.
25. Milwaukee, Wisc.
26. Boston, Mass.
27. Philadelphia, Penn.
28. Pittsburgh, Penn.
29. Charleston, S.C.
30. Arlington, Va.
31. Sioux Falls, S.D.
32. Boise, Idaho
33. Kansas City, Mo.
34. Columbus, Ohio
35. Tulsa, Okla.
36. Grand Rapids, Mich.
37. Billings, Mon.
38. St. Louis, Mo.
39. Cleveland, Ohio
40. Greensboro, N.C.
41. Lexington-Fayette, Ken.
42. Omaha, Neb.
43. Salt Lake City, Utah
44. Miami, Fla.
45. Indianapolis, Ind.
46. Fargo, N.D.
47. Anchorage, Alaska
48. Baltimore, Md.
49. Little Rock, Ark.
50. Rochester, N.Y.

Two caveats to the final results: Bicycling's editors only considered cities with populations of 100,000 or more. They also balanced the list for geographical diversity, "to avoid having a list dominated by California’s many bike-oriented cities."

Interested in why the magazine's editors chose these cities? Head over to their interactive map for all 50 reasons.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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