Looking at the Top U.S. Bike Friendly Heatmaps.

Heat map from Strava Labs showing the scope of bike activity across the United States.
Heat map from Strava Labs showing the scope of bike activity across the United States. (source: https://www.strava.com/heatmap)

Bike friendly cities are growing. Along with major metropolitan areas, universities and corporate headquarters are heading initiatives to grow bicyclist communities. Altogether, their impact on access and usability of bicycles has made getting around on bikes easier than ever. Heatmaps below illustrates the phenomenon.

With the growth of bike use, tracking and measuring bike activity has become much more important to understand. Strava Labs has collected the data and generated heat maps. Their visualizations will help us take a look at what bicycling actually looks likes in each of the top 10 cities for bicycling in the United States.

AUSTIN, TX – Austin’s heatmaps spread out over a few towns. Currently facing concerns about dockless bicycles being dumped across city grounds, Austin’s bike enthusiasm hasn’t let down. New programs across the city are putting bikes into the hands of new bicyclists and setting up the city to be successful and sustainable.

Hopefully, they can do better than their neighbors in Dallas.

BOULDER, CO — This city is really articulating what it takes to have a wide variety of bike use (e-bikes, bike shares, mountain bikes) fit into beautiful hilly terrain.

DAVIS & SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Two heatmaps in one! Topping off the California central valley, Davis and SF individually frequent the tops of bike-friendly lists. However as near as they are, they each tackle their own sets of bike solutions.

While Davis is a smaller community, every single aspect of how its city is organized is more and more oriented toward everyday personal commuting on a bicycle. SF, however, carries scale and several means of transportation to fit together, including train, bus, shuttle, and the overlaps in between.

MADISON, WI & Chicago, Il — These cities are early in their bike share efforts. With connecting roads and emerging bike-shares to come, Madison and Chicago areas will be sustainable cities to keep eyes on.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Gearing up for bike shares, Minneapolis has great enthusiasm for incorporating bike parking, trails, pathways and storage around the city area.

PORTLAND, OR — This city’s bike systems are well underway. New bike-shares are currently clashing with established systems. The bike communities here are only re-articulating what it means to use bikes, bringing bikes into more and more aspects of Portland living.

SEATTLE, WA — Seattle has become a hot battleground for bike share companies looking to make great gains in major cities before moving into new American territories. Multiple companies have fallen by the wayside, new ones have surpassed expectations, and people of the city have mixed feeling about how it’s all going. 

TUCSON, AZ — New ventures are emerging in this new bike-friendly city. Repair shops are growing and being newly set up, companies that produce bike tires are getting better, and infrastructure coming into the city is good news for everyone here.

The growth of bike-friendly cities continues to mean growth and excitement for surrounding people and businesses.


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