The 10 Most Bicycle-Friendly Small Towns in America | PedalChef

Key Takeaways

  • Cyclist-friendly towns offer extensive biking infrastructure.
  • Small towns provide unique, close-knit biking communities.
  • These towns prioritize sustainable transportation and biking culture.

Biking is more than just a hobby; it's a lifestyle.

Did you know some towns roll out the red carpet for cyclists?

You might be surprised at how these small towns in America elevate biking to an art form.

In this guide, we're cycling through charming locales where bike trails wind like ribbons and bike racks are more common than parking meters.

These towns are not just bike-friendly, but cycling utopias, offering secure lanes, picturesque routes, and a community culture that pedals above the rest.

Trust us to steer you to places where your two-wheeled adventures will be nothing short of legendary.



Davis, California

Have you ever imagined a place where bikes rule the roads and cyclists are greeted with miles of tailored pathways?

Welcome to Davis, California!

Why Davis Stands Out:

  • Designated Bike Lanes: Initiated in July 1967, Davis was a pioneer in creating modern bike infrastructure in the U.S., crafting a blueprint for a bike-friendly community.
  • High Bike Commuting Rates: With over 20% of locals cycling to work, Davis pedals past many other towns in bike commuting statistics.

What Makes Davis Special?

Biking here isn't just a mode of transport; it's a way of life.

You'll find:

  • A web of safe and convenient bike lanes crisscrossing the city.
  • An impressive bike culture where two wheels are better than four.
  • Various amenities tailored to cyclists, making it a breeze to cycle for work, play, or simply enjoying a sunny day!

Bike Festivals and More: In Davis, cycling isn't all about getting from point A to B; it's celebrated through events and a community spirit that cherishes the joy of riding.

You might just find yourself participating in a festival before you even know it!

Did You Know?

While other cities barely hit a 2% biking rate, Davis has surged to 10 times that, truly making a name for itself in the world of cycling.

Interested in a leisurely pedal or a brisk bike commute?

In Davis, you're not just choosing a healthier lifestyle but joining a community where cycling is the cherished norm.

Why not grab your helmet and join the pedal-powered party?

Boulder, Colorado

Have you ever heard how Boulder, Colorado is a paradise for bicyclists?

Well, you're in for a treat!

Picture this: You're cruising on one of the many bike paths that stitch the city's fabric together.

It's no wonder Boulder often tops the charts as one of America’s most bike-friendly places.

  • Bike Paths Galore: Explore over 300 miles of dedicated bikeways. You've got choices galore!
  • Bike Share Programs: Need some wheels for the day? Bike Boulder and other local initiatives have you covered with easy-to-use bike-sharing options. No bike? No problem!
  • Community Support: You'll find a community passionate about cycling, whether it's for fun or commuting.

And get this:

  • Safety & Accessibility: Boulder's infrastructure is designed with your safety in mind. Bike lanes? Check. Clear signage? Double-check.

Curious about the numbers?

Boulder prides itself on having extensive bike routes that cater to cyclists of all levels.

With programs like Bike Boulder, getting around on two wheels has never been more encouraged or easier.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just looking to enjoy a leisurely ride under the beautiful Colorado sky, Boulder’s cycling scene is inclusive and buzzing with activity.

So, grab your helmet, and let’s get those bicycle bells ringing in Boulder!

Corvallis, Oregon

Looking for a cyclist's haven in the heart of the Willamette Valley?

Let’s pedal our way through Corvallis, Oregon.

Can you believe this charming town has earned the Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community award?

It’s true!

Corvallis is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists, and it’s not just a one-time thing; this community has proudly maintained its status for over two decades.

That's quite the testament to commitment!

But what really makes Corvallis stand out?

This town's got a crisscross of bike paths and lanes that invite you to explore on two wheels, embracing cycling as more than just a pastime—it’s a way of life.

Have you ever heard of the Corvallis Bicycle Collective?

It’s a gem for bike enthusiasts, offering resources, support, and fostering a vibrant biking culture.


  • Gold-level Bicycle Friendly recognition
  • A dense network of bike paths and lanes
  • Supportive biking community and initiatives like the Corvallis Bicycle Collective

Whether it’s for commuting or a leisurely ride, you’re in good company.

You'll be pedaling alongside people who know the joy of cycling, and in a place that continues to invest in biking infrastructure.

So grab your helmet, and let your two-wheeled adventures begin in Corvallis.

Isn't it wonderful to feel the breeze and take in the scenery, knowing you’re in one of America’s most bicycle-friendly towns?

Missoula, Montana

Ever cruised through Missoula, Montana on two wheels?

If not, you’re missing out!

This charming town has been pedaling hard to secure its spot as a cyclist’s paradise.

You'll be thrilled to find over 22 miles of off-street trails and 40 miles of on-street bike lanes, designed to ensure your ride is both enjoyable and safe.

Plus, Missoula isn't shy about flaunting its Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community status, awarded by the League of American Bicyclists.

  • Spot cyclists? It's a common sight here!
  • More than half of Missoulians have hopped on a bike in the last 30 days.

Did you know that Missoula houses the Adventure Cycling Association?

It's a hub for bike enthusiasts nationwide and a testament to the town's love for all things cycling.

Your cycling community awaits amidst the awe-inspiring Montana landscape.

Bike-friendly amenities in Missoula:

  • Bike lanes: Over 40 miles on streets.
  • Off-street trails: More than 22 miles.
  • Cycling community: A sizable group of passionate riders.
  • Adventure Cycling Association: A national treasure for cyclists, nestled in the heart of town.

With stats like these, it's no wonder Missoula is on the radar for anyone who enjoys the freedom of cycling.

So grab your helmet, pump those tires, and let's hit the road – Missoula's bike-friendly streets are calling your name!

Madison, Wisconsin

Have you ever pedaled across a city that seems to have been designed with your bike in mind?

Well, that's Madison, Wisconsin for you!

With a commendable Bicycle Friendly Community Platinum designation, this town truly embraces its bicycling spirit.

  1. Bike Lanes & Trails: Madison boasts a well-established network of bike lanes and trails.some text
    1. Lake Monona Bike Loop: A scenic 13-mile ride that offers waterfront views and a taste of the local vibe.
    2. Biking Itineraries: You can find plenty of routes around the city, whether you're in for a leisurely ride or challenging terrain.

Mountain Biking: Fancy a dash of adrenaline?

Explore trails like Cam-Rock Park or Quarry Ridge located a stone's throw away.

Don't stress over gear since rentals are available at places like Machinery Row Bicycles.

Commuter Friendly: With a high bike commuter rate, you're not just joining a trend; you're part of a movement.

  • Events & Community: Madison is alive with bike events year-round, fostering a community of cyclists of all ages and skill levels.

Did you know Madison's Bike Network Analysis (BNA) score is 49.8? While not topping the chart, it reflects a well-used and appreciated biking infrastructure.

And with a network score of 3.1 based on local perceptions, it's clear Madisonians value their cycling routes.

So, grab your helmet and join the locals who enjoy Madison on two wheels.

It's not just about getting from point A to B—it's about enjoying the journey in between!

Durango, Colorado

Hey, fellow bike enthusiast!

Have you heard about Durango, Colorado?

It's a paradise for cyclists, boasting captivating trails and a community that adores everything on two wheels.

Let's pedal through what makes Durango an absolute must-visit for your next cycling adventure.

Scenic Trails & Routes

  • Animas River Trail: A tranquil 7-mile path that follows the Animas River right through the heart of Durango, perfect for a family ride or a solo cruise to take in the fresh air.
  • San Juan Byway: Offers a more ambitious 236-mile loop with views of awe-inspiring peaks, truly a high-altitude journey for more seasoned riders.

Mountain Biking Mecca

If you're into mountain biking, you're in for a treat.

Durango's mountain biking community is vibrant and welcoming.

Why not challenge yourself on the trails with breathtaking elevation gains?

Don’t worry, they have bike options like the Lectric XP 3.0 Long Range eBike to ease those thousand feet of climbs.

Community and Culture Durango is not just about the trails, it's a culture.

Cyclists gather here to share their passion, making it a splendid place to meet like-minded new friends or simply enjoy the camaraderie at local bike shops and events.

Getting Around

  • Florida Road (CR 240): Start here and take a leisurely ride or test your limits with some elevation.
  • CR 501 to Vallecito Lake: A 36-mile round trip with stellar views and plenty of spots for that perfect picture!

Remember, it's not about the destination; it's about the ride.

And in Durango, you'll be talking about that ride for years to come!

So why not make this small town your next big adventure?

Grab your helmet, and let's hit the road – Durango awaits you!

Carrboro, North Carolina

Ever wondered what it feels like to breeze through quaint streets with the wind in your hair and not a care in the world?

Well, Carrboro, North Carolina, might just be your dream come true if you're a biking enthusiast.

It's a small town charm mixed with a progressive spirit, and here's why it’s often dubbed a cyclist’s paradise.

First, let's talk about accessibility.

Whether you're doing it for the fitness benefits, the green points, or just for the joy of it, Carrboro's bike-friendly roads make sure your two-wheeled adventures are a breeze.

  • Bicycle Transportation Plan: Adopted in 2009, it ensures that all citizens have the option of using bicycles as a mode of transportation.
  • Topography: With a gentle elevation of about 463 ft, it's a comfortable ride for most cyclists.

What about community vibes?

Carrboro ups the ante:

  • ReCYCLEry: This non-profit bike shop isn't just about repairs; it's key in making cycling accessible and inclusive.
  • Cycling Culture: With over two decades of growth, the cycling community in Carrboro is thriving and as tight-knit as ever.

And if you're one to be swayed by statistics:

  • Population: Roughly 20,000 residents strong, it's a close-knit community.
  • Student Population: Almost 30,000 from the nearby UNC-Chapel Hill, adding vibrancy.

Feeling the subtropical climate while pedaling past historic buildings is the norm here.

Ranked among the Top 100 Best Small Towns, Carrboro is clearly doing something right.

Whether it's their median family income of $80,000, which hints at a prosperous community, or their commitment to inclusivity and health, your pedals are welcome here.

So why not add Carrboro to your list of must-visit biking havens?

Fort Collins, Colorado

Have you ever biked through a town that feels like it was designed just for you and your two-wheeler?

Fort Collins, Colorado, is exactly that kind of place.

This gem of a city not only competes with Boulder for the title of the best bike city in the U.S., but also sets a high standard for what small towns can offer for cyclists.

  • Quality of Life: Imagine living somewhere where health, sustainability, and community are at the forefront. Yep, Fort Collins gets that.
  • Infrastructure: With an extensive and well-kept network of trails, getting around without a car is not only possible, it's enjoyable.
  • Bike Education: Ever worry about navigating urban cycling etiquette? Fort Collins offers comprehensive bike education programs spearheaded by FC Bikes to give you the confidence you need to pedal with pride.
  • Community Events: Think of the camaraderie of group rides and the shared joy at local bike events. It's a cyclist's social paradise!

In terms of accolades, Fort Collins doesn't just rest on its laurels:

  • Ranked as a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
  • Proven commitment to improving conditions for cycling, with ongoing community efforts.

Why not catch a breath of that fresh Colorado air from the seat of a bike in Fort Collins?

See for yourself why it's not just a mode of transport here; it's a way of life!

Ashland, Oregon

Have you heard about Ashland's charm for cyclists?

In this quaint town, you'll find bike lanes and bike racks aplenty, making it a breeze to navigate on two wheels.

Ashland isn't just a haven for bike enthusiasts; it's a community that takes pride in its bicycle-friendly infrastructure.

Imagine coasting along scenic routes, the wind playfully tugging at your sleeves.

Ashland offers that and more, catering to every cyclist's whim.

With Southern Oregon's striking landscapes as a backdrop, bicycling through Ashland is as much a feast for the eyes as it is a joy for the spirit.

  • Bike-friendly Public Transportation: The local buses (RVTD) are equipped with bike racks, combining public transit with bike travel seamlessly.
  • Events and Rides: Join the local cycling events, immerse yourself in the vibrant community spirit, and pedal through the excitement.

Did we mention the lovely places you can explore?

You've got Spence Mountain, Mountain of the Rogue, and the Mountain Lakes beckoning you for an adventure.

Here are some quick tips for your visit:

  • Ride Duration: Whether you're here for a quick spin or a full four-day excursion - Ashland welcomes you.
  • Stay and Explore: Consider staying in town and setting off to discover trails and tracks within and beyond the city limits.

Whether you're pedaling through for a few hours or planning a multi-day cycling adventure, Ashland is ready for you.

Grab your helmet, hop on your bike, and let's get those wheels spinning along the picturesque trails of Southern Oregon!

Decorah, Iowa

Ever pedaled through a place where the landscape invites you to just keep riding?

That’s Decorah, Iowa for you.

Fresh air, lush green dells, and a trail system that's a cyclist's dream!

Have you heard about the Decorah bike trails?

With just under 8,000 residents, this small Midwest gem is a haven for cycling enthusiasts like you.

Outdoor Adventures on Two Wheels

  • Trail Variety: Decorah's bike paths aren’t just your flat, straight shot. Imagine 10 miles of trails twisting up and down, ensuring your ride is anything but monotonous.
  • Picturesque Scenery: You'll cycle through Iowa’s "Driftless" area, a place missed by glaciers, leaving behind a terrain that's rich in valleys and steep bluffs — perfect for that idyllic ride.

Community and Culture

  • Norwegian Roots: Embrace the town's unique Norwegian culture as you bike around. There’s even a Nordic Fest in July!
  • Friendly Locals: Expect to meet fellow biking aficionados. Decorah is known for its welcoming vibe and active outdoor community, particularly when it comes to cycling.

Did You Know?

Even if you're not up to venturing into the rugged outdoors, half of the trail network runs right through town.

So, you can enjoy a blend of urban and natural landscapes as you ride.

Plus, there's something special about the hand-built quality of Decorah's trails — they're crafted with care, not just carved out by machines.

Feel free to check out the offerings at Decorah Bicycles, a local shop that's tuned into the needs of both budding and seasoned cyclists.

Ready to explore Iowa on two wheels?

Decorah is your go-to destination.

Grab your helmet, and let's go biking!