This May, BikeScore released their list of bikeable US cities with a population of 500,000 or more. Portland tops this year’s list, and Seattle isn’t too far behind, coming in at number six. The score is based on biking infrastructure, hilly terrain (no wonder Seattle fell behind), the total number of bikers and more.
Have you been thinking about getting into bike commuting? Well, the data backs up what we already knew to be true: the Pacific Northwest is a great place for it. Now that summer is here, it’s the perfect time to change up your routine and start commuting to work. You’ll save money on gas, get a daily workout and avoid traffic. For help getting started, check out our five tips on making the transition to bike commuting.
- Prioritize Your Safety – Before you get on that bike, make sure you prioritize your safety. Be sure to have a good fitting helmet as well as a high-quality bike light.
- Get a Tune-up – If your bike has been sitting in the shed for a couple years, you’re going to need more than a tire pump to get it going. Take your bike in to your local bike shop for a tune-up to make sure the chains are greased, the gears are tuned up and your bike is in tip-top condition.
- Survey Your Office – Many offices have bike cages and almost all newer buildings have access to showers. Ask around at your office to see what amenities are available to you that you may not know about.
- Map Your Route – The route you drive to work is likely not the safest route for bike commuting. Check out Google Bike Maps to pinpoint the best route to your place of work and back.
- Get a Biking Buddy – Safety in numbers! Find a friend that lives nearby and consider biking together. You’ll be more likely to stick to your new commute when you know a friend is showing up in the morning.
As two of the most bikeable cities in the country, Portland and Seattle offer a number of great biking and bike commuting resources. Here are a few to get you started:
Biking in Portland
- Bike Portland – Daily news source covering all aspects of the Portland bike scene.
- Portland Bureau of Transportation – Interactive maps of Portland with biking and walking routes.
Biking in Seattle
- Seattle Bike Blog – Independent news source profiling the Seattle bike scene.
- Seattle Department of Transportation – Online bike maps and news updates on all biking projects in the city.