May is national bike month. It’s also when The League of American Bicyclists Rankings are released. There was a lot of movement in the top ten this year. After digging shallowly into the data, one basic observation was that  a couple specific deficits determined the overall standings. While some states had widely varying rankings, other high performers had closely grouped numbers, which may highlight areas of opportunity.

Washington held onto the number one spot and Colorado moved up to number two. Both of those states scored high in key categories, followed closely by some lower figures in other significant areas. Oregon and Minnesota, third and fourth respectively, were mathematically more balanced but ranked lower overall.

Click through for the 2013 top ten and 2012 rankings for comparison.

2013 Rankings


The League of American Bicyclists’ website offers up several visually stimulating renditions of their findings. View the interactive map with several different overlays here. Then, find the full 2013 rankings here.

Below, find their slightly more colorful 2012 rankings for comparison. Note how much movement in both the overall and categorical rankings we see in the top ten.




Personally I have laid down significant miles in Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, most of California, and almost all of Illinois. Now, I live in Portland. Therefore, I have a considerable bias and can’t even begin to lay my opinions over these statistics.

How do you feel about these state rankings? Is biking in Seattle that much better than biking in Chicago, for example? Tell us below.


  1. Having lived in Colorado and Arizona, I’d agree with their making the Top 10. Likewise I’d also agree with Ohio being as low as it is.

  2. I live and ride (mountain) in Phoenix, and the options for trail riding are numerous. We have the two largest inner-city parks in the country with miles of easily accessed trails. We also have a pretty cool place called Sedona, not sure if you’ve heard of it. I think if that was factored into these rankings we would score a lot higher.

  3. I think Seattle in sort of ridiculous. Their infrastructure, bike lanes and such, is almost non existent and the drivers are relatively dangerous. Biking through downtown can get intimidating. Portland on the other hand is covered in bike lanes and bike corridors in places that make a lot of sense. But I’m only comparing the two main urban areas from their respective states. I’m sure there are other factors involved.

  4. I live in Conway, AR (near Little Rock), and cycling here is downright dangerous. The biggest problem is that there is no culture of cycling here, so drivers have a complete disregard for road cyclists. We’re a nuisance. I think culture (as hard as it is to quantify) has to be considered in the rankings.

  5. What’s really alarming is the Infrastructure & Funding catagory. Only two states scored in the 40-60% range, and most are in the 0-20% range!

  6. I find the Western states to be much, much better for mountain biking, but pretty bad for road riding. The Western states have great road climbs/descents, but they tend to have heavily trafficked/highspeed paved roads and dirt backroads with nothing in between. Midwestern states like Wisconsin and Michigan have tons of paved, low-speed backroads with little traffic.

  7. Pennsylvania does not have the problems that they describe period.I have ridden all over this state and to say the infrastructure is sub-par is ABSURD!! The roads here have good shoulders, good bike lanes and from what I’ve read about other states pretty polite drivers as well.

  8. Nebraska is down right dangerous. So not friendly for bicyles. I shutter thinking about my next commute to work.

  9. The only good thing about cycling in NY, specifically in tristate area, are the rail-to-trails paths and the rare off-road unpaved roads… In all honesty I thought NY would score better:(

  10. @Sri, I have to disagree with you about commuting in Nebraska. I’ve been commuting by bike in the Lincoln area for more than 20 years, and it is a very bike-friendly community, with excellent bike routes and paths.

    I moved back to Lincoln from Boulder, and don’t want for anything. The cycling community in Lincoln is fantastic.

What do you think?