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10 Fastest Growing Biking Cities in America (You'll Be Surprised Who Made the List)

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The League of American Bicyclists recently published its third edition of Where We Ride: An Analysis of Bicycling in American Cities, which is based on new data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey and looks at the growth of bicycle commuting around the country.

Bike commuting is now the fastest growing mode of transportation and in big cities that suffer from serious traffic jams, it's often faster to get around by bike than by car.

In the report, the league looks at:

  • how all 50 states rank according to bicycle commuters as a share of all commuters
  • how cities with a high percentage of bicycle commuters compare to other cities in their regions
  • how cities compare based upon multimodal commuters, looking beyond just bikes to other forms of transportation that involve more physical activity, including walking and transit

Unsurprisingly, for bike enthusiasts at least, Davis and Berkeley, California, along with Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Oregon all have high levels of ridership. But one really interesting ranking is the top 50 large cities where bike commuting is growing the fastest. Several cities on the list are probably not what most people would expect.

Here's the top 10 (go here for the full ranking):

  1. Detroit, MI
  2. Pittsburgh, PA
  3. Cincinnati, OH
  4. Portland, OR
  5. St. Louis, MO
  6. Chicago, IL
  7. Cleveland, OH
  8. Washington, DC
  9. Milwaukee, WI
  10. Oakland, CA

At least half of the top 10 cities are Rust Belt cities with harsh winters like Detroit. And yet Detroit saw a 400 percent increase in the number of bike commuters from 2000 to 2014. Now, bikers still only make up 0.8 percent of total commuters there (It's no Copenhagen, at least for now). Still, more bike lanes, especially more protected bike lanes, and programs like Slow Roll Detroit help to explain why biking is taking off in the nation's car capital.

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