Author Topic: Bicycle Friendly States  (Read 5948 times)

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Offline ptaylor

Bicycle Friendly States
« on: January 02, 2007, 09:05:16 pm »
There is quite a bit of discussion in the media, and elsewhere on bicycle friendly cities. Overlooked, and of more importance to we bike tourists, is bike friendly states. I pose two questions to this forum:
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  • what should be the criteria for determining a bicycle friendly state?
  • which states score poorly and which states score well, using your criteria?



Paul
Paul

Offline Peaks

Bicycle Friendly States
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2007, 05:58:11 pm »
Criteria for bike friendly states:

1.  General attitude of the motoring public.  
2.  Wide shoulders with good pavement along many roads.

Other criteria:  A good state bike map showing good roads for biking.

If I can vote, Vermont gets my vote as a very bike friendly state.  


Offline bruno

Bicycle Friendly States
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2007, 09:39:24 am »
i've lived in some good ones--colorado, california, and massachusetts. i like vermont and new hampshire as well.

any place is pretty good if there's routes with good scenery and light traffic. as long as you're on your bike!


Offline Turk

Bicycle Friendly States
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2007, 10:52:59 pm »
I live in Minnesota but grew up in Wisconsin. Both are good bicycling states but for different reasons.

Wisconsin has a lot of secondary roads that are asphalt-covered, and the traffic levels are low enough that they are quite pleasant for bicycling. There are also a lot of small towns, close together. These are nice to stop in for a meal and/or a drink.

Minnesota has a lot fewer asphalt-covered roads and the towns are farther apart, but many more major roads are OK for bicycling, like state highway 1 that crosses the northern part of the state.

Both states have a lot of trails.

I would guess that West Virginia and Pennsylvania might be bad states unless you plan your route well. They are mountainous and the traffic is probably funnelled into the valleys. The population density is relatively high.

Some day I'd like to bike across Kansas. I've heard that their road system is good and I picture the area as unspoiled and unassuming. Also, relatively few hills.


Offline litespeed

Bicycle Friendly States
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2007, 10:08:34 am »
"Wide shoulders with good pavement along many roads."
This is far and away the most important thing for good bicycling. States in the middle of the country - Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc. - tend to be good in this regard. I would also add New Jersey and Oregon. Bad states are Iowa, Virginia and Mississippi.
Well marked highways are a big help when bicycling. States in the deep south and New York are poor at this.
For camping you can't beat the "wide open" states like Colorado, Utah and western Oregon and states with good, well run state parks like Florida, Oregon, Virginia, etc.
Good rural roads in northern New England make bicycling a pleasure(except for the hills).
Passable, cheap motels are always good to find. Best for this is western Texas. Worst is California.
Light traffic always helps. The most deserted highways are probably in western Oregon.


Offline DaveB

Bicycle Friendly States
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2007, 11:13:40 am »
I would guess that West Virginia and Pennsylvania might be bad states unless you plan your route well. They are mountainous and the traffic is probably funnelled into the valleys. The population density is relatively high.

As a PA resident I guess I have to defend my state's honor. ;)

Actually western PA is a very good bicycling area as there are a lot of rural, low-traffic roads and scenic roads.  I'm 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh by car but 30 minutes from my house on a bike and I ride by farms with cows and horses.  The best of all worlds.  

I'm a bit familiar with WV too and there are wonderful biking areas there too.  

Both states share one trait; they are not easy riding.  There are hills, hills and more hills.  Bring low gears and a willingness to work and you can have a lot of good riding time here.

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-9-07 @ 7:14 AM

Offline jimbeard

Bicycle Friendly States
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2007, 08:35:23 pm »
    I have only traveled across 7 states so not a good judge.So far i like my home state of NY most roads with high traffic volume have wide shoulder also there are 3 well signed state routes with excellent{free} maps to cross state . :)

Jim
Jim

Offline BikingViking

Bicycle Friendly States
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2007, 02:36:24 pm »
Criteria- share the road and drivers that are aware of the fact that their vehicles weigh tons, and you weigh just pounds.
For any of you that have ridden across North Dakota, I think you will agree that they folks there are top runners up for the most friendly and courteous. If the shoulder is narrow and a cars are approaching you from front and rear, the rear car slows and waits. I had a state trooper do this. People stopped on the road and offered us water and never once showed any road rage. Great people.


Offline litespeed

Bicycle Friendly States
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2007, 07:05:12 pm »
In 2004, soon after entering Nebraska south of Omaha I got a flat on US 6 NE of Lincoln. While fixing it four cars, including a state trooper, stopped and asked if I needed help. I have never had anything like that happen anywhere and I have bicycled in 44 states.

This message was edited by litespeed on 1-18-07 @ 4:30 PM