For a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, you can’t go wrong with a bike ride. Watching the scenery slowly pass by as you pedal along can set your mind at ease and gently lift your spirits. If you happen to be a world-traveler you, you’ve got an advantage. There are plenty of amazing places where bike rides are not only welcome but encouraged.
Bear in mind - no matter where you go, accidents can happen in an instant. You always need to read and comply with your destination's biking laws. You should always wear both a helmet and bright clothing so that you’re easier to spot at night.
To help you know when you should plan to pack your bicycle when you travel, the following are the top five friendliest destinations for cyclists from around the world.
Denmark’s capital city is often regarded as one of the happiest places on Earth. It’s also our #1 pick for the most bike-friendly destination in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Copenhagen loves bicycles! From the 242 miles of dedicated bike lanes to the air pumps, traffic lights synched with the median cycling speed, and specially designed intersections that dot the “Cycle Super Highway,” Copenhagen wants everyone riding on two wheels to feel as safe as possible.
Surprised? Consider the following:
9 out of 10 Danes own a bicycle
35% of all Copenhagen residents commute to work on bicycles
Most children are taught how to ride before they’re even old enough to attend school
Danes travel an average of one mile per day by bicycle
With stats like that, it’s easy to understand why Copenhagen wants to be a warm, welcoming city for cyclists everywhere.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that the only city in the world with a museum you can bike through would be incredibly friendly towards cyclists. Amsterdam is home to both the Rijksmuseum and the 881,000 bikes that pass through its arches every day. There are four bicycles to every one car in this historic city, and their popularity is on the rise. In the past 20 years, Amsterdam has seen a 40% spike in bike usage. The city government is starting to take notice and has begun to invest over €120 million in creating new parking spaces and other amenities geared towards cyclists.
The largest city in Oregon has nothing but warm feelings for cyclists, and they prove it with both their words and deeds. The city has made a multitude of improvements to make the city more bike-friendly, with even more planned for the future. Free printed maps are available everywhere you go, detailing the neighborhoods and bike trails that stream throughout the city. Portland is also noted for its commitment to creating a more eco-friendly cycling space. They reuse and recycle old bike corrals to create new bicycle rental kiosks for tourists and visitors.
That being said, Portland does falter behind Europe for bicycle friendliness is several key ways. The most prominent black eye they have is in their bicycle fatality ratio. Off the 44 traffic deaths that occurred in 2016, five were people on bicycles, a marked increase from the year prior. If you do find yourself in a bicycle accident in Portland, know what your options are, and take any steps you feel are necessary to protect yourself in the future.
When you think about how beautiful Colorado is, it’s not hard to guess why cycling is so popular. Bicycles are the best way to get around quickly and still enjoy the scenery. In Boulder, there’s plenty of beauty worth taking in.
The second American city to make this list, Boulder has plenty of great aspects to make cyclists feel right at home. The city is home to over 300 miles of improved bike lanes. These lanes come in many different varieties, and offer options for paved, soft-surface, multi-lane, and contra-flow setups. They also sponsor a bicycle registration program to help speed the recovery of your bicycle if it’s ever stolen.
Unwilling to be outmatched by their American neighbors, Montreal has made giant strides recently to ensure that bicyclists feel like they have a place in the second-most densely populated city in Canada. Boasting over 373 miles of bike paths, Montreal is determined to provide ample room for people to get around on two wheels. Food and drink vendors line entire stretches of these paths, giving cyclists plenty of options to stop for a quick snack.
Most telling of all, the city hosts the Go Bike Montreal Festival every year. Drawing over 25,000 cyclists, the festival welcomes bike enthusiasts from all over the world to take a group ride through over 31 miles of the beautiful city.