Nothing feels better than when it's just my bike and me, out on the open road, trail or wherever the wind takes us that day. In my opinion, there simply is not a better way to get around than on two wheels, which is why I like to bring my bike with me everywhere I visit. The two of us have traveled across the country (although sometimes also using other means of transportation), which has allowed me to pinpoint my favorite places to pedal.
1. Portland, Oregon
Portland has earned a top spot in my heart for biking, considering it's one of the few cities that has designed its roads for bikers just as much as for drivers. There are bike-only spaces at traffic signals and they give out free bike lights to keep everyone safe on the city's 180 miles of bike lanes and 79 miles of off-street cycling paths. I think my favorite thing about this biking city is the solidarity among bikers - you can be cycling along the Columbia River or down a suburban street, and there's a sense of mutual enjoyment in those who roll up alongside you - even when it's raining.
Head to Bike Commuter on 8315 SE 13th Ave or Fat Tire Farm at 2714 NW Thurman to rent a road or mountain bike to ride around Portland.
2. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago isn't the place you think of immediately when you think of cycling, but recent developments have made it friendly to even the more nervous bikers among us, and it's definitely the best way to see the city if you're visiting. I love taking the path from Millennium Park to Northerly Island - a perfect combination of skyscrapers that will literally take your breath away (you'll know why it's called the Windy City), boats on Lake Michigan and serene nature once you get to the island.
Rent a bike at Bobby's Bike Hike for a whole day or just a few hours and get pedaling!
3. New York, New York
It might seem scary navigating the busy Big Apple streets alongside the crazy cabbies and other New York City traffic, but it's actually a lot more bike friendly than you might think. NYC tops the "best cities for biking" lists in Forbes and Bicycling Magazine. The ease of biking in this city isn't what puts it at the top of my list, though - it's the places. There's just nothing like biking over the Brooklyn Bridge - literally some of the best views in the city, all en plein air! Taking a little pedal tour of Central Park never hurts, either!
Don't have room in your tiny Manhattan apartment for a bike? Neither do a lot of people. That's why Bike and Roll New York City offers memberships to its bike rental shops. If you pay $10 per month, you just show up to one of its nine locations and grab a bike when you need one.
What's your favorite city for biking?