While the notion of cycling to work may seem novel or strange to many Americans, elsewhere it’s common. As the video below shows, in the Netherlands all kinds of people—some estimates say more than one-third of the population—make their daily commute on bikes. According to the text accompanying the video, it was recorded at around 8:30 a.m. on a Wednesday in April 2010 in Utrecht, a city with 300,000 people. The 8-minute recording was compressed to 2 minutes.
Bike commuting tips:
Many cities have bike lane maps, and Google Maps will plot a cyclist-friendly route for you, as will MapMyRide.com. Goal-oriented riders may be interested in signing up for a free account on MapMyRide, which allows you save your routes and track your mileage (and gear, weight, and other things).
Bicylce commuters are eligible a tax break similar to the ones that other commuters are eligible for. Under the Bicycle Commuter Act, as of January 1, 2009, employers can reimburse employees who regularly commute to work by bicycle up to $20 a month for reasonable expenses incurred, such as buying, repairing, and storing the two-wheeled vehicle. Click here for more info.
For about $100 a year, cyclists in cities including Washington, DC, Longbeach, and Seattle have access to Bikestations: facilities that offer 24-hour secured bicycle parking, changing rooms, basic repair assistance, maps and more.
Best bicycling cities
Wondering how your town compares? Check out Bicycling magazine’s America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities. Here’s how the magazine picks the best cities for biking:
|There are many important things a city can do to gain our consideration for this list: segregated bike lanes, municipal bike racks and bike boulevards, to name a few. If you have those things in your town, cyclists probably have the ear of the local government—another key factor. To make our Top 50, a city must also support a vibrant and diverse bike culture, and it must have smart, savvy bike shops.|