With 250 million registered cars on the road in the United States, the amount of pollution and greenhouse gasses that is being pumped into our atmosphere is astounding. Luckily, many cities have already put into place great bicycle infrastructures and communities. Is your city one of them?Â
According to the EPA, each gallon of gas consumed produces almost 20 pounds of CO2.Â But the following 12 cities are tackling the problem and are ranked the best of the best when it comes to bicycle friendliness in the United States.
Top 12 Bicycle-Friendly Cities
1. Davis, California
2. Boulder, Colorado
3. Portland, Oregon
4. Corvallis, Oregon
5.Â Jackson & Teton County, Wyoming
6.Â Fort Collins, Colorado
7.Â Madison, Wisconsin
8.Â Palo Alto, California
9.Â San Francisco, California
10.Â Seattle, Washington
11. Stanford, California
12. Tucson/Pima Eastern Region, Arizona
Each of these cities were rated based on how well they are engineered for bicycle use, the amount of encouragement given to riding bikes, the extent of bicycle safety and awareness education, and the effectiveness of bicycle related law enforcement.
You can see the complete ratings of all of the bike-friendly American cities on the League of American Bicyclists website.
5 Reasons to Ride a Bike
Whether you decide to ride to work, school, as recreation, or for running errands, riding a bicycle produces many benefits to both you and the environment.
Riding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise and stay in shape.Â Riding for an hour can burn 400-700 calories with moderate effort.Â It also promotes increased cardiovascular fitness, strength, endurance, stamina, and flexibility.
2.Â Less Resources Used
Bicycles are very green in that they donâ€™t require any gas, motor oil, or brake fluid.Â The materials needed to construct a bicycle are also considerably less than the material needed to construct a car. Â
3.Â Improved Air Quality
Cars are a major contributor to air pollution causing over half the carbon monoxide and over a third of the nitrogen oxides in our atmosphere.Â Bicycles, however, give out no exhaust and do not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
4.Â Lower Costs
Opting to bike versus drive a car will also save you lots of money as gas can cost over $100 per month.Â The initial costs of purchasing a bike are also much cheaper than that of a car.Â Add in the costs of car repairs, gas, and even parking, and it is safe to say that riding a bike is a lot more economical.
Riding a bike is also a lot more convenient than depending on public transportation as you have a lot more flexibility on when you want to leave.Â Also, bikes often let you get much closer to your destination than car parking lots allow you to.
Riding a bicycle can be a great way to enjoy some time outdoors while reaping great personal and environmental benefits. There are many groups dedicated to promoting bicycling and creating healthy lifestyles such as the International Bike Fund and The Green Bike Project. Â
Do you ride a bicycle to work, school, or just for fun?Â Do you live in a bicycle friendly city?Â Share your thoughts and ideas on riding bicycles in the comment box below!
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