It surprises me to see Pennsylvania so high on the list. It does not surprise me that it is moving in the wrong direction.
I would have expected SC to be lower that 47th. Given the trend, it may well be next year. :/
Last edited by the_tool_man; 05-08-14 at 05:48 AM.
Optimist: The glass is half-full.
Pessimist: The glass is half-empty.
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Masi 3VC Volumetrica
1983 Fuji Touring Series IV
#1 . We witness hostility towards bicycles all the time. It's either that I'm extremely picky or other states are doing really bad.
It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster. - Greg LeMond
Then once you get the best State, then you need to find out which counties in that state are better than the others .
and then the bone head culture of the people driving on that road.
It would be interesting to see the results if it had motorist opinions towards cyclist incorporated within the ranking.
If GA is 26th, there's some seriously bad states to be riding in....seriously bad.
Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!
The rating are based on responses from state bike coordinators. Not rated is the general population's attitude toward cyclists. On that basis Rhode Island and nearby environs should be near the top as my experience is very positive regarding motorists who, with almost no exceptions, are friendly and courteous.
Shocked to see Ca in the top 10.. we sure do have some wonderful rides but up north at least the infrastructure is rather lacking.
(Insert your favorite quote here)
And being in the redneck zones makes road cycling a real adventure... although I will ride the roads when I lose a little weight and pick up some speed/confidence.
Since I'm out on the deep back dirt roads, it's all the real rednecks driving junker rusted out pickup trucks that I see, and every single one of them slow down when they see me and wave to me and give me a big toothless grin. Then I was climbing my "monster" hill one day where there isn't a single bit of man made anything anywhere when some ritzy looking older woman comes flying down the hill kicking dust up for miles in a big Cadillac Escalade and as she flies by me probably at about 50 mph kicking up rocks, I see a cell phone plastered against her ear. Even in the middle of nowhere deep in real redneck country, you can't get away from it.And being in the redneck zones makes road cycling a real adventure... although I will ride the roads when I lose a little weight and pick up some speed/confidence.
Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!
I have had many good encounters and conversations with folks in this area and others that could be considered rednecks that I wouldn't want to lump in with those that are the real problem.
But, I am probably wandering beyond the scope of this thread.
If I could buck the trend...I was surprised to see Kentucky rated 48th. Louisville makes an effort to be bike-friendly. The few times I've ridden outside the immediate area I've not perceived any great issues.
Cycling just isn't a big priority here, but having a balanced state budget is. Maybe if we just borrowed money from everyone and stuck it to the taxpayers we'd have more bike lanes and stuff.
How did NC rank so high?
It surprised me to see my State ( Washington ) at the top, but then it is a list of states in the US relative to each other. I will have to admit that as far as driver acceptance is concerned , that has improved markedly from when I was a kid. Its still not very good, but back then it was worse. More bicycles = better acceptance IMO
Poll really doesn't break down regions at all, and instead includes all rural areas mixed in with urban areas that could be hundreds of miles away. I'm way upstate NY ,having moved here after 30 years in Vermont. A consideration in the move was the great cycling to be had on this side of Lake Champlain. Roads are in much better condition, traffic is lower to non existent and the culture is accepting. Yet, Vermont is 20 places lower than NY and I can only assume that is because the whole NYC/Suburb thing effects the polling, even though its 300 miles away. I've no doubt its the same with a lot of states.
Results must be based on polls of State officials, not on reality or on cyclists' perceptions. The state that kills the most cyclists every year is rated 28th, essentially "average?"
I haven't ridden a whole lot in PA, but I did a 1000k brevet around rural Eastern PA in 2008 and I gotta say it was one of the nicest rides I have ever done. I had one dog chase me, but otherwise the pavement was in excellent condition overall, the traffic was fairly minimal and always polite, and the scenery was gorgeous. There were no bike lanes where we were, but when the roads are good and the traffic is mellow, they aren't needed.
I think it's sort of interesting to look at the breakdown of how different states scored. For example, MA, where I live, scored lower on infrastructure and funding than CA and WA. But it seems to me that economically, MA should have more funding for bicycle lanes than either of those because it has a higher population density and high per capita income. A larger percentage of its land area is urban, and it is in urban areas where bicycle infrastructure is the most useful, cost effective, beneficial to local businesses, etc.
@Dudelsack - if you look at the different categories, you see that KY's position is not just because it doesn't spend money on bike lanes. The legislation/enforcement column refers to state laws and practices that determine what happens to people who break the rules or cause accidents. Whether or not someone who kills a cyclist because they were texting while driving drunk gets prosecuted is not necessarily a budget issue. Evaluation and planning is also not necessarily a budget issue - it's about priorities and whether the needs/safety of bicyclists are taken into account when planning projects. And KY apparently does spend at least a little bit on policies/programs, and education/outreach. Most of that stuff is not expensive; it's just a question of priorities.
My state Nebraska is rated low, probably lower than it should be. Basiclly there are two Nebraskas, Omaha and Lincoln, and the rest of the state. Both Omaha and Lincoln have many miles of hard surface trails. Then the rest of the state has thousands of miles of two lane highways, many with good shoulders, and light traffic. Probably the state is ranked low, because all anyone from out state knows about Nebr is Interstate 80 which you cant ride on.
Then there are also laws that regulate how fault is assigned in accidents, who is liable for which expenses, whether there are laws defining safe passing distances and whether those are enforced, what the responsibilities of cyclists are on the road, and what the responsibilities of drivers are, what the police's priorities are, how well laws that affect cycling safety are actually enforced, etc.
All that stuff can vary tremendously from state to state, and most states probably have a mix of some laws that are good for cyclists and some that aren't, some that are well enforced and some that aren't, etc.