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What's are some of the friendliest bike cities in the SE

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What's are some of the friendliest bike cities in the SE

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Old 09-08-07, 09:58 PM
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earthworm94
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What's are some of the friendliest bike cities in the SE

Candidates are...

VA
TN
NC
SC
FL
GA

Any medium size (30,000+) to metro or suburb area would do.

Just wondering...
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Old 09-08-07, 11:14 PM
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Definitely NOT Memphis, TN. One the most anti-bike cities I have ever experienced. People here view people on bikes as health freaks who should ride on the side-walk or someone who has lost driving priviledges due to a DWI.
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Old 09-09-07, 12:04 AM
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I definately vote for Gainesville Fl. Mucho bike lanes, everything here is within 10x10 mile square. And not many hills, and no speed limits over about 40 or so.
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Old 09-09-07, 03:37 AM
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You probably should make a list and check them out. Some cities have cycling friendly areas, but I have not found any city that is totally cycle friendly. Some of my favorites are Greensboro, NC if you can stay in the near downtown areas. Greenville, SC has some nice areas. Most college towns quite often will have decent cycling facilities.

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Old 09-09-07, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen View Post
I definately vote for Gainesville Fl. Mucho bike lanes, everything here is within 10x10 mile square. And not many hills, and no speed limits over about 40 or so.
Agreed, generally. Gainesville isn't perfect, cycling-wise, but it's way better than most places in FL. The main roads are 45mph (with traffic going 50+) on the edges of town, and there *are* hills in places (sometimes steep), but they're short and you can usually route around the worst of them. My commute takes me on one of the busiest, 6-lane streets in town and for about a mile I'm in the right lane mixing it up with traffic (Butler Plaza area for you locals), but it's also a congested area so my speed isn't much lower than the cars. It isn't so bad once you get used to it. The rest of my 6.7 mile commute is on either an MUP (~2 miles) or an on-road bike lane.

The biggest problem is that parts of town are not in a grid so you have to go on the main roads. If you're near campus this isn't a problem and the speed limits are lower there, too. Downtown is pretty cool and we're getting a lot of new development in the downtown & campus areas, so density will increase, there will be more riders & peds, etc. That should make for an even more bike-friendly city.

Also, if you're thinking of going car-free, the local bus system is decent, depending on if you live near a line and where you want to go, of course. Students have been riding free (well, it's included in tuition, so it isn't "free" but there's no incremental cost for hopping on the bus) for about the last 10 years, which has helped with traffic near campus but has also encouraged sprawl (since there is now less need to live near campus).
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Old 09-09-07, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen View Post
I definately vote for Gainesville Fl. Mucho bike lanes, everything here is within 10x10 mile square. And not many hills, and no speed limits over about 40 or so.

Of course the flip side is Gainesville is a college town with high bike theft. Yin and yang.
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Old 09-09-07, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by earthworm94 View Post
Candidates are...

VA
TN
NC
SC
FL
GA

Any medium size (30,000+) to metro or suburb area would do.

Just wondering...
This really depends on what you mean by bike friendly, and who you ask. I cycle in Atlanta, have done so for a few decades, and consider it a good place to cycle. Other people I know insist that it's a terrible and dangerous place for cyclists.
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Old 09-09-07, 07:07 AM
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NOT Columbia, South Carolina. I have been commuting here for a while and worked bicycle delivery downtown a few years back. I can think of two bike lanes in the whole city right offhand, I can think of maybe 5 other commuters (we are a college town). I can't remember the last time I saw a "Share the Road" sign around here. If it weren't for the fact that most of my commute is through a riverfront park, I simply wouldn't do it. Plus, we were awarded the distinguished honor of having the worst drivers in the USA, check it out!

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Old 09-09-07, 07:33 AM
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Friendly would be defined as:

-generally courteous atitude by motorists
-most places has bike path access, or street layouts allows "backroad" access to most places.
-not so hilly. Just about as hilly as Spartanburg, SC. The Space Coast area in FL is FLAT though. (I can handle hills quite well, so it's not a big concern)
-Bike thieves are not craftly nor rampant
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Old 09-09-07, 08:02 AM
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Oh yeah, I forgot, along with the college campus comes the farking thieves!

So, how's Spartanburg? Haven't been there in forever...

Joey
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Old 09-09-07, 08:28 AM
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I live in Arlington, VA and I think we're pretty good. The local government seems to promote bicycling. All the buses that I've seen have front bike racks. They release free bike maps every year. You can find roads that have bike lanes. Most usually are next to parked cars so getting doored is a danger, but it's better than nothing. I believe they have a full time person on staff that promotes cycling.

The area has some widely used MUPs, but I try to avoid those. There are a lot of walkers/runners, combined with inexperienced wanna be roadbikers, and your leisurely bike riders. That makes for a scary proposition. I think I feel safer on the roads if you believe that! I have met some commuters that come in from far out in Fairfax County or beyond and it works for them since there are on the MUPs early in the morning and avoid most of the problems.

Other surrounding jurisdictions are all pro-biking, but I think Arlington is the most activist.

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Old 09-09-07, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by joeyfrench View Post
Oh yeah, I forgot, along with the college campus comes the farking thieves!

So, how's Spartanburg? Haven't been there in forever...

Joey
I live in Boiling Springs, which is just north of the "Main" Spartanburg area. It's hilly and the roads are not bike-friendly at all. Only road that leads up/downhill is a 4 lane road (45-60mph traffic) with NO shoulders.

However, if you live in the Converse Heights or Downtown Spartanburg area, it's quite bike-friendly. Also, city of Spartanburg is building more bike paths right now and commuting is quite possible.
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Old 09-09-07, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by joeyfrench View Post
Oh yeah, I forgot, along with the college campus comes the farking thieves!

So, how's Spartanburg? Haven't been there in forever...

Joey
I live in Spartanburg, SC...and bike everywhere(being carfree). There is an effort to get the area declared 'Bike Freindly'... I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the goal is of the whole thing. Bike lanes are few but I haven't had too many issues really since I came back here one year ago. I believe they have even added some bike racks to some of the SPARTA busses. The majority of the cyclists I know or see are pretty much recreational roadies or mountain bikers. And bike racks for locking up a bike are next to impossible to find anywhere aside from a public library.

All in all not too bad for an area of this size though.
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Old 09-09-07, 09:48 AM
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I always felt safe enough in Atlanta and thoroughly enjoyed cycling at all hours exploring all over the metro area.
Stay away from Tallahassee. It is very bicycle unfriendly. Few safe bike paths and aggresively anti-bike drivers.

Last edited by SouthernGothic; 09-09-07 at 09:49 AM. Reason: bad spelling
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