USA Today recently released a list of the best towns for bicycling in the United States. Davis, California was at the top of the list, and cities like Fort Collins, Minneapolis, Durango, and Greenville filled other spots in the top ten. If your city isn't on the list yet, you can work to get it there. Here is a look at five things you can do to make your town a bit more bicycle friendly:
1. Commute to Work
One of the factors contests consider when determining which towns are the best for biking is the percentage of people who commute to work. You can boost your town's share of bicycle commuters by jumping on your own bike. Encourage your coworkers and neighbors to do the same, and before you know it, you'll see your city's name in lights.
2. Advocate for Bike Lanes
Bike lanes on city roads give bikers a safe place to ride. Ideally, sidewalks should be left to pedestrians, and bikers should be given the same respect as cars. Write letters to city officials, attend city council meetings, write letters to the editor, or post on your local newspaper's Facebook page. The louder you and your fellow citizens are about the need for bicycle lanes, the more likely the city is to respond.
3. Support Your Local Bicycle Shops
People are more likely to cycle if they have somewhere to buy the goods that they need. Support your local bicycle shop and safeguard the bicycling culture in your home town. The next time you need an emergency spare tire or a new pair of biking shorts, you will love the fact that you have a shop like Sarasota Cyclery Inc in your town. It is incredibly more convenient than ordering something online and having to wait for days.
4. Get the Kids Involved
If you get the young people in the community excited about biking, they will also work to make your community bike friendly. Buy bikes for your kids and let them ride around the neighborhood. Organize a bike safety rally at your kids' school, or hold a bicycle parade in your neighborhood.
5. Consider Starting a Bike Library
A bike library is a non profit city-run organization where people can check out bikes. This sort of organization works just like a book library. To ensure people bring back the bikes, most bike libraries take a deposit. This type of service will lure bicycling advocates to your town, and it's a fun way for residents to try bikes they wouldn't ordinarily get to ride.