The 484 Best & Worst Cities for Cycling

May is National Bike Month. To gear up for it, we noted the best — and worst — cities for cycling overall. Now, there are many factors in determining what makes a city a fantastic place for bike-lovers. From ridership and safety to network, reach, and acceleration, there are 12 cities that truly excel at cycling overall. Yet, there are even more cities that avid cyclists may want to avoid, along with a large area of the United States known to be less than bike-friendly. Care to make an educated guess about where your city falls? Check if you’re right about your city’s placement among 484 cities that are either the best or worst for cycling.
The map above has data we pulled from the bike experts at People for Bikes. Sort it by overall cycling score or delve deeper into exactly what makes an ideal cycling city with the various cycling variables.

Cities That Excel at Cycling

What do Wausau, Wisconsin, and Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado have in common? They each have an excellent overall bike score of 3.5 — the highest of all U.S. cities. While computing a city’s overall bike score may be enough to make your wheels spin, it’s actually pretty straightforward. The overall bike score is comprised of five categories: ridership, safety, network, reach, and acceleration. Let’s break down the top three overall cycling cities by these five subcategories.

Ridership is an estimation of how many people ride bikes and how often they do so. Boulder has the highest ridership score (a 3.1 out of 5) of the three best overall cycling cities. On the other hand, Wausau’s ridership score is just 1.7, while Fort Collins scores somewhere in the middle of the road. As for safety — which takes into account car accidents resulting in deaths or injuries of bikers, pedestrians, and other cars — Fort Collins scores the highest (a 3.7.) Wausau isn’t too far behind with a safety score of 3.3. However, Boulder’s safety score (2.2) indicates that a Colorado cycler’s safety depends on what city you’re in.

What Boulder lacks in safety, it makes up for in network, or how well bike paths lead cyclists where they want to go. Boulder gets a 4.1 in this category. As for the other two top overall cycling cities? Fort Collins and Wausau each score in the threes when it comes to network. Wausau also scores a 3.2 in reach or the consistency in which the city’s bike paths are accessible to everyone. Fort Collins and Boulder’s reach scores are 2.1 and 2.9, respectively. It’s important to note that Wausau is pedaling in the big leagues as the Colorado cities are much more populated. Wausau’s smaller population may be a factor in its ratings. With that said, the smaller Wisconsin city also scores the best (3.9) in acceleration — the rate at which a city enhances and promotes its biking infrastructure. Fort Collins and Boulder score a 3.3 and 2.7, respectively.

Not too far behind the three wheelie great cities for cycling are:

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • San Diego, California
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Santa Monica, California
  • Washington, D.C.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • New York, New York
  • Carmel, Indiana

These cities have overall biking scores above 3.0, a feat only 12 of the 484 cities on the map can brag about. In fact, the majority of U.S. cities have low overall biking scores. There are 316 cities scoring between 1 and 1.9, 76 cities between 2 and 2.9, and 80 cities with a score below 1.

Cycling Through the Categories

Photo by Jonny Kennaugh on Unsplash

We noted the top three overall cycling cities and their scores in the five subcategories. But having the best overall doesn’t mean they lay claim to the highest — or lowest — scores within each category. In fact, when it comes to ridership, Portland, Oregon scores the highest of the 484 cities with a 3.9. On the other end of the ridership spectrum is Roswell, Georgia. Roswell is the only city with a 0 in ridership.

However, when it comes to safety, one top cycling city does claim the highest score. Fort Collins, Colorado’s 3.7 safety score is the highest in the U.S. The lowest safety score belongs to Foxborough, Massachusetts, a city with a 0 in safety. In network, a top cycling city once again scores the highest. This time, Boulder, Colorado receives the highest score (a 4.1). Comparatively, Paducah, Kentucky comes up short with a 0.5 network score.

Accelerating past the reach category for the moment, the top acceleration cycling score (a 4.6) belongs to New Orleans, Louisiana. Rockford, Illinois, and Bridgeport and Newington, Connecticut all have scores of 0 in the same category. Pedaling back to the reach category, Grand Forks, North Dakota scores the highest: a 4. However, many cities across the U.S. — twenty-five to be exact — score 0 for the same thing. Take a peek at the map above to see if your city is included in the many 0-reach scoring cities, especially if you call Ohio or Massachusetts home.

The Worst Biking Area in the U.S.

If you want to know where in the U.S. you may not want to ride a bike, look no further than the map. The map helped us identify the worst area for cycling: the Northeastern U.S. When you sort the map by overall score and select the “.04-.03” range, you’ll see that the Northeastern U.S., made up of the New England and Middle Atlantic areas, are the worst for cycling. The cities that are especially bad for cycling in this area include:

  • Tatamy, Pennsylvania
  • Brielle, New Jersey
  • Hooksett, New Hampshire
  • Cochituate, Massachusetts
  • Foxborough, Massachusetts
  • Soldotna, Alaska

Moreover, if you keep the map sorted by that lowest overall scoring range and add the “0.9-0.5” range, you’ll note that the Eastern U.S. is much less bike-friendly than the West. Only 12 cities in the West, including the aforementioned Soldotna, Alaska, Hilo, Hawaii, and a city in Minnesota hold overall biking scores under 1. As for the East? A whopping 68 cities have bike scores under 1, a trend only the map could make clear.

Now you can put your pedal to the medal in one of the best cities in the U.S. for cycling. But if you live in one of the worst cities? You may want to wear a helmet, among other things. Alternatively, if you’re a bike aficionado who prefers to sit on the sidelines instead of hitting the pavement, every year in July, over one hundred serious cyclists gather in France to compete in the Tour de France. Be in the know about the biggest Tour de France winners in history.

Most and Least Environmentally Friendly Countries

April 22 is Earth Day, the day folks around the world post appreciation pics of our planet. However, on April 23, the planet slips to the back of many people’s minds, though this isn’t the case for everyone. Europeans and folks living in East Asia celebrate the Earth year-round by recycling and composting as if their lives depended on it (and they kind of do). Other countries, like Japan, minimize human impact by incinerating their trash. This is better than sending large amounts of trash to landfills as heat from incineration can be used to generate electric power. Then there are the countries that love sending almost all of their waste to the landfill. Clearly some countries are more environmentally aware than others. Let’s take a look at countries doing the most and those that could try a little harder when it comes to waste management and our planet.
Which countries reduce, reuse, and recycle and which are garbage at disposing of their own? Sort the map by recycling and composting rates, different methods of incineration, and landfilling to find out. Then, read on for trashy trends we’d be rubbish at spotting without the help of a map.

Europe’s Bin Recycling and Composting, Have You?

Unlike the map of the worst statistics about the United States which highlighted some negative environmental impacts of certain U.S. states (Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, and North Carolina), we’re focusing on locations doing good for the planet. Europe, for example, is slaying the recycling and composting game compared to the rest of the world. It seems that saying au revoir to daylight savings time in 2019 leaves Europeans enough spare time to recycle and compost. Below is the list of countries with recycling and composting rates of 55% or higher, four of which are located in Europe:

  • Germany
  • South Korea
  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • Belgium
  • Taiwan

The six countries above have the highest recycling and composting rates in the world. Germany takes the cake, recycling and composting 65% of waste. South Korea is second best, ethically getting rid of 59% of its waste. Coming in close behind are Austria and Slovenia, which tie for third place at rates of 58%. Belgium and Taiwan close out the top environmental do-gooders with a 55% rate of recycling and composting. Plus, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg deserve honorary mentions for recycling and composting rates 45% of trash.

Japan Incinerates the Competition

Incineration is just a fancy way of saying “burning trash.” While incineration does not eliminate the need for landfills, it does convert trash to smaller, more manageable levels. Incineration reduces waste mass by 83% and its volume by 96% which is why it’s popular in countries where space is limited. Some countries have expressed concerns about incinerators and their effect on the environment. However, not only do incinerators significantly reduce the amount of waste for disposal at landfills, the high temperatures of incinerators can also destroy pathogens and toxins that would alternatively fester in the landfill.

The top three incinerators — incineration without energy recovery on the map — include:

  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Canada

These three countries limit the amount of space waste takes up in landfills by incinerating a percentage of it. Just like with the highest rate of recycling and composting, Germany has the best rate of incineration without energy recovery: 13%. Japan comes in second with a rate of 6%, though this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Japan’s aptitude for incineration. Third place goes to Canada. Canada incinerates 4% of its waste without energy recovery.

Incinerating is a step above landfilling, even more so when utilizing incineration with energy recovery. This type of incineration generates energy that can be used for other purposes like electricity or heat.

The largest incinerators with energy recovery are:

  • Japan
  • Norway
  • Denmark

These countries incinerate their trash in the most environmentally-friendly way possible: with energy recovery. Japan does it the best at a rate of 71%. If you recall, Japan also had the second highest rate of incineration without energy recovery. Japan’s tendency to incinerate its trash may be because incineration is extra popular in countries with limited space, like Japan. Norway has the next highest incineration with recovery rate: 57%. Denmark follows with 54% of its waste being incinerated with energy recovery. Sweden — at 50% — also deserves recognition as it is the last country with a rate of incineration with energy recovery over 49%.

Remember when we noted that Austria and Slovenia tied for third when it comes to recycling and composting? They also tied with 0% rates of incineration without energy recovery. But while these two countries have identical recycling and composting rates and the same incineration without energy recovery rate, their incineration with energy recovery rates aren’t anywhere close. Austria has Slovenia beat big time when it comes to incineration with energy recovery. Austria does this at a rate of 35% while Slovenia incinerates with energy recovery just 1% of the time.

Countries that Love Landfills

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

We mostly focused on the positives up until now. But when it comes to landfills, there are only negatives. Air pollution, contaminated water, unwanted health effects, unworkable soil and land, high economic costs, and fires are only a few drawbacks of landfills. So when you group the map by landfills, keep in mind that countries with higher rates aren’t the ones doing the most for the environment. The countries that appear to love landfills include:

  • New Zealand
  • Turkey
  • Chile
  • Mexico
  • Israel
  • Greece

New Zealand, Turkey, Chile, Mexico, Israel, and Greece certainly have some explaining to do. With landfilling rates like New Zealand’s (100%), Turkey and Chile’s (99%), Mexico’s (95%), and Israel and Greece’s (81%), who needs enemies! But we also have some explaining to do. The data we used to make the map is from a Wikipedia table. Wikipedia is a great resource to find data that can be easily transported to a spreadsheet and copied and pasted into our spreadsheet data mapper. However, we’re also aware Wikipedia’s data may not be 100% accurate. Though it’s safe to say the countries with high rates of landfilling —according to Wikipedia — likely aren’t the most environmentally friendly places.

We noted that Austria and Slovenia tie when it comes to rates of recycling and incineration without energy recovery. Yet, Austria’s rate of incineration with energy recovery (35%) is much better than Slovenia’s (1%). Just like their un-identical incineration with energy recovery rates, Austria and Slovenia aren’t close when it comes to landfilling. Once again, Slovenia falls behind Austria. Slovenia sends a whopping 36% of its trash to the landfill while Austria does the same with just 4% of its waste. In addition to Austria, let’s give it up for the eight countries that have landfilling rates below 5%: Germany and Switzerland (0%), Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Japan (1% each), and Denmark and Norway (2%).

For U.S. mappers, let’s aim to get our country higher up in the ranks. We’re currently ranked 15th in both recycling and landfilling. And be sure to check out the world’s highest electricity usage to see which countries may want to consider relying on incineration with energy recovery to bring their electricity rates down. A lower electric bill and less in the landfill is a win-win in our book. We also wonder if the many different drinking ages across the globe have any effect on recycling rates. Beer cans are recyclable, right?

Create a Virtual Wedding Map Guide for Your Guests

Destination weddings are great, but what happens when your guests have downtime in between the loved-up festivities? You and your partner-to-be can’t play tour guide to everyone. After all, you’ll both be busy with wedding preparations, and you know, tying the knot. Even if you opt for a local wedding, you’re likely to invite a few out-of-towners who are unfamiliar with the area. So what can you do to help your guests navigate the area surrounding your wedding venue? Create a paperless, easy-to-make virtual wedding guide! Whether your guests are looking for lodging options, restaurants, a quick stop at a grocery store, fun things to do, or wedding day location logistics, a virtual wedding guide is a great tool to ensure your wedding goes smoothly.

View Hawaiian Wedding Guide in a full screen map

Just like a map of your location and favorite places, a wedding guide can help guests navigate the area surrounding your venue and take some stress off your shoulders. So keep reading for instructions on how to make your own virtual wedding guide for your friends and family.

Determine What to Do in the Surrounding Area

The first step of creating a virtual wedding guide is to determine what there is to do in the area surrounding your wedding venue. It’s helpful in your mapping endeavors if you already know all about the nighttime scene, unique hikes, or famous botanical gardens of the area. Perhaps you’ve already mapped your highlights from hiking, geocaching, or walking around the area! However, unfamiliarity with the area shouldn’t stop you from creating a virtual wedding guide. Turn to Google to help you determine what places to add to your wedding guide.

For example, if your wedding venue is the beautiful Haiku Mill located in Hawaii, enter that into Google Maps. Here, you can select the “Nearby” option to see the restaurants, hotels, bars, and pubs near the venue you may want your guests to know about. Then, jot them down! A spreadsheet is a perfect place to keep track of all the spots your guests might like to check out.

Create a Spreadsheet and Copy & Paste into the Mapping Tool

Now you can go ahead and add all of the amazing places you discovered to a spreadsheet. You’ll want to use column headings like the name of the location and “type” or “category.” These group-able categories (like restaurants, hotels, or fun thing to do) will come in handy later. Of course, don’t forget to note the address of these places since we’re going to be plotting them on a map! Below is an example of our spreadsheet:

Location Address Type
Haiku Mill 250 Haiku Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Wedding Venue
St Rita’s Church 655 Haiku Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Fun Things To Do
Twin Falls 6280 Hana Hwy, Haiku, HI 96708 Fun Things To Do
The Gardens 800 Haumana Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Fun Things To Do
Ho’okipa Beach Park Hana Hwy, Paia, HI 96779 Fun Things To Do
Haiku Market 810 Haiku Rd #143, Haiku, HI 96708 Grocery
Fukushima Store 815 Haiku Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Grocery
Pauwela Store 375 W Kuiaha Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Grocery
Haiku Plantation Inn: Maui Bed and Breakfast 555 Haiku Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Hotel
Bamboo Valley Inn 1444 W Kuiaha Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Hotel
The Inn At Mama’s Fish House 799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779 Hotel
Maui Adventure Villa 190 Kaokoa Way, Haiku, HI 96708 Hotel
Kaiholo Hale 25 Kaiholo Pl, Paia, HI 96779 Hotel
Veg Out 810 Kokomo Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Restaurant
Colleen’s At the Cannery 810 Haiku Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Restaurant
Nuka 780 Haiku Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Restaurant
Maui Kombucha 810 Kokomo Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Restaurant
Mediterranean Grill 810 Haiku Rd #1, Haiku, HI 96708 Restaurant
Bailey’s Café 810 Haiku Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Restaurant
Kings BBQ 810 Kokomo Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Restaurant
Mangala Yoga 810 Kokomo Rd #102, Haiku, HI 96708 Wellness
Three Treasures Inc. 718 Haiku Rd, Haiku, HI 96708 Wellness
MALIE DAY SPA 810 Kokomo Rd #201, Haiku, HI 96708 Wellness

Now that you’ve gathered the exciting places guests can visit in a spreadsheet, simply copy and paste your data into our map-making tool for a wedding guide that looks something like this:

Guests Can Calculate Distances Between Important Locations

With your new paperless wedding guide your guests can calculate the distance between two markers on the map. To enable this option, right click on your map and select “Edit Map.” Then, scroll down and click “Validate and Set Options.” Next, select “Show Advanced Options.” Check the box for “Calculate (straight line) distance from first address” and note your preferred units of measurement. Finally, click “Make Map,” and you’re good to go!

Since this is a wedding guide, we recommend the first address (from which the map will now automatically calculate distances) be your wedding venue. After all, it is the most important point on a wedding map! Now, if Uncle Bucky intends to stay at the Inn At Mama’s Fish House, he’s easily able to see it’s 2.47 miles away from the venue.

Moreover, your guests may want to calculate the distance from a marker on the wedding guide other than the first address. And with BatchGeo Pro, they can easily do that! Measure on the fly with the measuring tool (it looks like a ruler!) in the top left corner of your wedding map. Using the measuring tool, drag a line between any two markers on the map and BatchGeo will let you know exactly how far apart they are. As when we calculated distances from the first address, you’re able to toggle between units of measurement with the measuring tool. To do so, click the scale on the bottom right of your map to switch between feet and meters. The measuring tool and the option to calculate distances from the first address are available with the Advanced Mode in BatchGeo Pro which opens up more opportunities for data insight.

Now that a virtual wedding map solved the problem of playing tour guide to your wedding guests, you’ve got more time to move — literally — on to other ways maps can help with important relationship milestones: moving in together.

This map has got everything you need to make the most financially-informed decision about moving. Then, once you’ve identified the new city or state with the best rent prices, you can apartment hunt visually with a custom map or even make an open house map if you and your spouse are looking to buy a home.