Rob Hainer/shutterstockAlabama is not known to be bike-friendly, and, in fact, ranked at the bottom of the annual rankings released by the League of American Bicyclists. But in the past few years, the city of Auburn has made a concerted effort to improve this, by constructing 25 miles of bike paths and an additional seven miles of multi-use paved paths. The City of Auburn champions their efforts through Bicycle Auburn, offering group bike rides through downtown and along the bike paths on a variety of routes for all experience levels. Further outside of the city, the Chief Ladiga Trail, a paved path that extends to the Georgia Border and links up with the Silver Comet Trail there, provides a beautiful rural biking experience through the green Alabama countryside. Here are some other facts about each of the 50 states you should know.
Rocky Grimes/shutterstockWhile bicycling in downtown Anchorage is a great way to see the city in the warmer months, the highlights of cycling in this Alaska city sit just beyond the center of town: the Alyeska Bike Park, Seward Highway, and the bike-friendly Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, an 11-mile multi use paved path starting in downtown Anchorage. There are a number of bike rental shops close to the Coastal Trail, where moose and bear sightings are common. Past travelers recommend mosquito repellent for the ride; here are some tips for keeping the suckers at bay.
Chris Rubino/shutterstockSince cycling is possible year-round in this desert state, its little surprise that Tucson has more than 700 miles of bike paths and bike ways. Enjoy stunning vistas, observe the flora and fauna of the desert, and get a solid workout in the heat on The Loop, a 131-mile multi use path that encircles downtown Tucson and extends to the northwest. A number of bike shops in town offer mountain biking tours for single or multi-day excursions further afield. (Here are some off-the-beaten path national parks you might also want to check out.)
Arkansas: Little Rock
Henryk Sadura/shutterstockThe Arkansas River Trail System runs right through the capital city, following an 88-mile loop through Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, and Conway. The bike-friendly trail passes a number of Little Rock's landmarks, including the Big Rock Quarry and the Clinton Presidential Library. Bobby's Bike Hike in Little Rock offers themed tours, like their Pork & Bourbon Bicycle Tour and Bobby's Tike Hike for families with kids in tow. Have you checked out some of the best free tourist attractions in each state?
AlessandraRC/shutterstockAs far as California cities go, Davis isn't the largest in regard to population, but it was the first city in the U.S. to implement bike lanes. Cyclists can ride Davis Bike Loop on a tour of the city, or stop by the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame for a comprehensive history of cycling in the U.S. According to Outside Magazine, approximately 17 percent of residents commute by bike, and bicycle repair stations and tire pumps are readily available to the public.
Jeff Zehnder/shutterstockThe city of Boulder is fully committed to safe bike commuting and tourism, as evidenced by the efforts that the city infrastructure has gone to in order to keep cyclists safe. Bike-safe drain covers and signage dot the city, while B-cycle bike share allows tourists and locals to rent bikes from a number of locations for short jaunts. For longer excursions, the city is bisected by The Boulder Creek Path. The 7-mile path runs down from Boulder Canyon into downtown to the east, ending in a residential neighborhood. Further afield, mountain biking in the White River National Forest is the sport of choice, where cyclists can enjoy trails that, in the winter, are ski destination favorites. (Did you know biking can help you learn a language faster?)
Connecticut: New Haven
Jon Bilous/shutterstockNew Haven is the terminus for the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and Farmington River Trail, a 57-mile trail (82 miles including the Massachusetts portion) that includes 26-miles of paths along a registered National Scenic Waterway. The trail passes 19th-century mills, waterfalls, ponds, and farmland. Inside the New Haven city limits, bright green paint denotes cycling lanes built over the past few years, which safely guide bicyclists around the city. Take a tour of Yale University, rated one of the best free tourist attractions in the country, and avoid the congestion of downtown rush hour by opting for two wheels.
Jon Bilous/shutterstockThe entire state of Delaware is in the process of increasing bike access throughout the state through the efforts of Bike Delaware. The Delaware Bicycle Plan lays out a number of new shared use and bike paths through much of the state, including the city of Wilmington, which is undergoing efforts to more than double its existing greenway infrastructure since 2008, and creating bike paths on roads to connect both the greenways and major points of interest within the city together. Jump on the East Coast Greenway, which runs from Maine to Florida, 43 miles of which pass through Delaware, including Wilmington. The route through Wilmington ends at the Christina Riverwalk before continuing on road for a small portion. The Riverwalk is a great walking path, dotted with opportunities to sit on a bench and take in the view, or pop into a local place for a bite to eat. Inside of the city, bike destination highlights include Brandywine Park, home to the Brandywine Zoo, Baynard Stadium, and the Josephine Fountain, Becks Pond which has picnic areas, grills, and a public playground, and Banning Park, with a variety of sports fields and wooded areas for exploring. Looking for something to read when you take a break from all your travels? Here's the most iconic book set in every state.
District of Columbia: Washington
Sean Pavone/shutterstockFamous for traffic and a metro that regularly falls behind schedule, Washington D.C. has become a bike-commuting and touring mecca. Capital Bikeshare provides short-term rentals, while the bike shops that dot the city provide longer-term options. The go-to bike highlights are the paths that encircle and criss-cross the National Mall, allowing cyclists to ride from historic monument to monument, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capital building. For a more nature-focused route, head to the Capital Crescent Trail, which starts in Georgetown and runs all the way to Silver Spring, Maryland. The former railway runs 11 miles through some of DC's most beautiful nature, including the C&O Canal and the Potomac River. Here are 18 wacky facts you didn't know about Washington D.C.
Brian Lasenby/shutterstockThe University of Florida is an extremely bike-friendly campus, with its own greenway running through the campus, but the main bicycling draw of this central Florida city is the Gainesville-Hawthorne state Trail, a rail trail that boasts 10-foot wide paved paths and tons of Florida wildlife and nature. The trail runs from Gainesville along 16.5 miles to the rural town of Hawthorne—a good round trip for one day—where cyclists can expect to see not only the standard Florida fauna of alligators and turtles but also wild horses and bison in the Paynes Prairie State Preserve.