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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-03-05, 02:23 PM   #1
tahoegramps
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Does anyone have info on the most bike friendly states, cities, and or countries? I am looking for a bike friendly atmosphere to move to...
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Old 09-03-05, 03:22 PM   #2
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So many... I guess it would depend on what your financial resources are like. I live here in Arlington, VA, but it's not cheap. Still, it's very bike friendly here. I lived in Chicago, where they said the mayor was an "avid cyclist" (though I never saw him riding, he only takes spinning classes at his club) and an advocate for cycling in Chicago, but it is nothing compared to what they have here in Virginia/WashDC/MD.

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Old 09-03-05, 04:36 PM   #3
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I have generally been treated well by the lovely cagers of Lansing, MI. We don't have many bike lanes, so that is a benefit in my opinion. We have a scenic Rivertrail, and the open countryside is easy to get to if you want to do some fast road riding. There are a couple MTB trails that are well-liked. The climate is very varied, another benefit in my book. It's a big enough city, but not too scary big. There is a large cycling club that runs the DALMAC ride every year, and 3 or 4 LBS's.
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Old 09-03-05, 06:10 PM   #4
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Roody, I didn't sign up early enough for the DALMAC, quint century ride that is going on right now. I was going to get a copy from a fellow club member and have someone drive me to Lansing and then cycle to Mackinaw and take the $39 Greyhound/Indian Trials bus back to Howell. I've read elsewhere where you have taken the bus up north to visit family. Did you ever take your bike?
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Old 09-03-05, 07:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by outashape
Roody, I didn't sign up early enough for the DALMAC, quint century ride that is going on right now. I was going to get a copy from a fellow club member and have someone drive me to Lansing and then cycle to Mackinaw and take the $39 Greyhound/Indian Trials bus back to Howell. I've read elsewhere where you have taken the bus up north to visit family. Did you ever take your bike?
No, never. It is my understanding that bikes must be in a hard case or box for Greyhound. You might want to check with them; also Indian Trails might have different regs.

My monthly trips to Traverse City always used to be a forced vacation from the bike, a chance to cross train and avoid overtraining. But my sister gave me her old road bike, so I don't get that vacation any more. Oh well. But I probably won't ride there much in the winter, although I ride all year here in Lansing.

Back on topic: I have to nominate Traverse City, MI as a great bike area too. They are currently paving long multi-use trails that go through beautiful countryside. The 2 lane country roads can't be beat for road riding and touring. The VASA trail, set up by the Swedish king for cross country skiing, is also considered one of the primo MTB trails in the country. There are a lot of commuters going to work in their nice office clothes, something I rarely see here in Lansing.
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Old 09-03-05, 07:36 PM   #6
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Really, I think most will agree: The best place to ride your bike is where you are right now! Still, a good idea for a thread, tahoegramps.
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Old 09-03-05, 08:10 PM   #7
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Tucson, Arizona is very nice. There is no off season and by law any road that is being constructed must have a bike lane.

In their November issue, Bicycling Magazine announced this year's list of Best Cycling Cities. Begun in the early 1980s, the listing looks at a variety of factors including bicycling infrastructure, supportive local government, active cycling advocacy groups, bicycling culture, and more.

Best Overall City: Portland, OR:
http://www.trans.ci.portland.or.us/T...cycle_Program/

Cities with a population over 1 million
1. Montreal: http://www.velo.qc.ca/velo_quebec/
2. Chicago: http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Transportati...es/bicycle.htm
3 San Diego: http://www.sandag.cog.ca.us/sdmts/bicycle.html

Cities with a population between 500,000 and 1 million
1. Seattle: http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/td/bicycle.asp
2. Austin: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/bicycle/
3. San Francisco: http://www.ci.sf.ca.us/dpt/regs/map5.htm

Cities with a population between 200,000 and 500,000
1. Denver: http://198.202.202.66/dephome.asp?depid=598
2. Madison: http://www.ci.madison.wi.us/transp/bicycle.html
3. Tucson: http://www.pagnet.org/TPD/IMSP/bicycle.html
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Old 09-03-05, 11:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tahoegramps
I am looking for a bike friendly atmosphere to move to...
--- Smaller college towns in California to consider include Palo Alto, Davis and Arcata.
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Old 09-03-05, 11:51 PM   #9
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Don't move to Honolulu, Hawaii. At least not for a few more years. I know it's counter intuitive, as our weather is awesome. But the roads suck, the drivers are provincial, and the laws are just about as draconian as you can get in the US.
Especially don't move to Waikiki.
Here's an absurd law: You can't ride with a trailer in Waikiki, at all. So no BOBs, no extracycles, not even a trailer for your kid. I wondered about the extracycle, but the way the law's worded, you can't have anything "attached" to a bike. It's a shame, cause Hawaii would be such a tremendously wonderful place to ride.
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Old 09-04-05, 02:57 AM   #10
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Germany!
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Old 09-04-05, 04:39 PM   #11
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What are the constituents or characteristics of a bike friendly city?
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Old 09-05-05, 12:05 AM   #12
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I live in Portland, OR and moved from Chicago. Don't believe the hype, Chicago is NOT bike friendly. In Portland every bus has a bike rack on it, and the light rail has places on every car to hang your bike. There are bike lanes on all major roads, and a law that gives bicycles the right to an entire lane if there is no bike lane. The city is required to spend a certain percentage of the road budget for bike lanes and mass transit. Most important though is that drivers are respectful of bicycles. There are bikes everywhere here since Portland is one of the greenest and most progressive cities in America. Seriously, you can't walk out the door without tripping over 5 bicyclists.
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Old 09-05-05, 07:09 AM   #13
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SW Ohio. Lots of trails and riders around. Bike freindly motorists as well.
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Old 09-05-05, 12:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by kurtarndorfer
I live in Portland, OR and moved from Chicago. Don't believe the hype, Chicago is NOT bike friendly. In Portland every bus has a bike rack on it, and the light rail has places on every car to hang your bike. There are bike lanes on all major roads, and a law that gives bicycles the right to an entire lane if there is no bike lane. The city is required to spend a certain percentage of the road budget for bike lanes and mass transit. Most important though is that drivers are respectful of bicycles. There are bikes everywhere here since Portland is one of the greenest and most progressive cities in America. Seriously, you can't walk out the door without tripping over 5 bicyclists.
Can I get a witness!

Amen about Chicago- I actually am unlearning some of the stuff I had to do when I was in Chicago, because here in VA/MD/DC, traffic is so much more friendly and aware that I have problems believing/dealing with traffic when they do stuff like wait for you to pass before turning, yielding to cyclists, looking before opening doors, etc. I rode in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, and I felt combative and angry... and I was very glad to get back to Virginia so I could ride in peace with the traffic. Not to say every car here wants to kiss my butt, but (no pun intended), the majority of traffic is very respectful of cyclists.

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Old 09-05-05, 12:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by becnal
Germany!
Another vote for Germany. Or Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, anywhere else in Scandinavia. They have bike paths along rivers or running parallel to the main roads, you can take your bike on many, many trains (sometimes you have to book this one in advance) and go on long country cruises on bike trails, or on almost empty roads, and there are cafes/restaurants/hotels all over the place for when you get tired and need to stop. And the cities have bike lanes too - real wide bike lanes which are usually separated from traffic by railings or raised kerbs so cars can't park there. Apartment buildings have a dedicated room to store your bike. Need I go on?
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Old 09-07-05, 09:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by R1000si
Cities with a population between 200,000 and 500,000
1. Denver: http://198.202.202.66/dephome.asp?depid=598
2. Madison: http://www.ci.madison.wi.us/transp/bicycle.html
3. Tucson: http://www.pagnet.org/TPD/IMSP/bicycle.html
Oooh, I am so excited to see this. Currently, I live in Houston and I don't think they're very bike friendly. I am giving up my car this week (donating it, hopefully someone from the Katrina disaster will benefit) and I just got my bike on Sunday. I've ridden it to the grocery store once and it was quite scary, I just don't trust the drivers.

Either way, my excitement stems from the fact that I've been wanting to move to Denver for the past four months. Every single time I hear something about that city, it is a good thing. To have it be one of the more cycle-friendly cities just fortifies my move even more.
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Old 09-07-05, 10:06 AM   #17
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I was in Montreal for the Labor day weekend.....and let me tell you, the part of town I was in (downtown) is very very cyclist friendly. Everyone seems to be riding and the drivers there seem to respect cyclists more (than NYC). There are bike racks EVERYWHERE! I actually have lots of pictures of bikes, I'll post up some of the bike racks that I came across. There aren't a lot of new bikes.....mostly 80s & early 90s. I did get to chat with a few roadies and they seem cool.

We decided to rent bikes to ride around town for a day.....it was so much damn fun (my friends haven't been on bikes since they were kids). We rode around the city, we rode on a University campus, we rode to the casino, and we rode out to two islands (outside Montreal) and got lost. Lots of fun......touring by bike is awesome.....we only had one minor mishap (major to them). My friend had a flat and NOBODY knew what to do.....luckily I asked for a patch kit, frame pump, extra tube & iron levers when we rented.....or else we would have be screwed. Of course they didn't know I had the tools. It was getting dark and we were miles away from the City. They started freaking out. I let them squarm a little before fixing the flat. All I know is that I had lots of free drinks and dances that night.

After our trip, my friends are *thinking* about buying bikes and riding for fun. Yeah!
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Old 09-07-05, 10:19 AM   #18
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Cadd, glad you liked my city. Not the entire island is bike friendly though, there's some places that have very limited access due to highways barring the way. Downtown is pretty cool though.
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Old 09-07-05, 03:28 PM   #19
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Just FYI, this subject as been discussed on several other threads. Try a search like "most bike friendly cities", and you should get several threads. It's just good to avoid redundancy.
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Old 09-07-05, 04:21 PM   #20
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Just FYI, this subject as been discussed on several other threads. Try a search like "most bike friendly cities", and you should get several threads. It's just good to avoid redundancy.
OTOH, there's a lot of new faces around here all the time, and many like to get in on the action, rather than just reading old threads. This kind of thread is for people to express their opinions and viewpoints, rather than a "how-to" or fact based thread. For the latter, I agree that it's a good idea to search before you start a new thread.
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Old 09-07-05, 04:27 PM   #21
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I live in Berkeley and it's very bike friendly here. I hear SF is great for that as well.
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Old 09-09-05, 08:41 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Roody
Really, I think most will agree: The best place to ride your bike is where you are right now! Still, a good idea for a thread, tahoegramps.
Thank You,
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Old 09-10-05, 11:11 PM   #23
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Details, details, what are you really looking for? What kind of work/ retirement do you want to do? Lot's of possibilities and loads of cyclist all over the world use this forum. Let's see a list of climate, language, proximity to family, taxes, what's important?
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Old 09-17-05, 08:40 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Can I get a witness!

Amen about Chicago- I actually am unlearning some of the stuff I had to do when I was in Chicago, because here in VA/MD/DC, traffic is so much more friendly and aware that I have problems believing/dealing with traffic when they do stuff like wait for you to pass before turning, yielding to cyclists, looking before opening doors, etc. I rode in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, and I felt combative and angry... and I was very glad to get back to Virginia so I could ride in peace with the traffic. Not to say every car here wants to kiss my butt, but (no pun intended), the majority of traffic is very respectful of cyclists.

Koffee
That's interesting...the feeling of being combative and angry when you road here. Just this past week, when I would get home from work, I would be thinking how negative my rides have been. Drivers honking, yelling, being pushy with their cars when there is no good reason for any of that behavior (me responding with more aggressive bicycling than I prefer to do). I think I am going to move to Portland, OR.
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Old 09-18-05, 11:11 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by R1000si
Tucson, Arizona is very nice. There is no off season and by law any road that is being constructed must have a bike lane.

In their November issue, Bicycling Magazine announced this year's list of Best Cycling Cities. Begun in the early 1980s, the listing looks at a variety of factors including bicycling infrastructure, supportive local government, active cycling advocacy groups, bicycling culture, and more.

Best Overall City: Portland, OR:
http://www.trans.ci.portland.or.us/T...cycle_Program/

Cities with a population over 1 million
1. Montreal: http://www.velo.qc.ca/velo_quebec/
2. Chicago: http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Transportati...es/bicycle.htm
3 San Diego: http://www.sandag.cog.ca.us/sdmts/bicycle.html

Cities with a population between 500,000 and 1 million
1. Seattle: http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/td/bicycle.asp
2. Austin: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/bicycle/
3. San Francisco: http://www.ci.sf.ca.us/dpt/regs/map5.htm

Cities with a population between 200,000 and 500,000
1. Denver: http://198.202.202.66/dephome.asp?depid=598
2. Madison: http://www.ci.madison.wi.us/transp/bicycle.html
3. Tucson: http://www.pagnet.org/TPD/IMSP/bicycle.html
Thank YOU!!!
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