The Most Bike-Friendly States In The U.S.

The League of American Bicyclists has spoken. Here are the best and worst cycling states.

The League also scores states across five categories, from "legislation & enforcement" to "policies & programs."

In the overall rankings, Washington keeps its No. 1 status from last year, with Wisconsin moving up five places.

Meanwhile, Montana has dropped 10 places to 49th.

The most improved since 2013? California and Ohio.



The Most Bike-Friendly States In The U.S.

Are you a serious cyclist? Stay away from Kentucky.

Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are the best states for cycling in the United States. Alabama, Montana, and Kentucky are the worst. States like Florida and New York fall somewhere in the middle.

That's according to The League of American Bicyclists, which every year ranks states on their friendliness to cycling. Washington keeps its No. 1 status from last year, with Wisconsin moving up five places. Montana has dropped 10 places to 49th. Meanwhile, California and Ohio are the most improved from 2013. The latter state is up 16 places, from 32nd to 16th.

The League scores states across five categories, from "legislation & enforcement" to "policies & programs." Legislation covers things like whether states have penalties for killing cyclists (many don't), or whether they've made texting while driving illegal. Policies include whether cyclists have access to tunnels and bridges, and whether states install "rumble strips" alerting drivers when they stray out of lane.

Check out the graphics here for how each state compares. Dark blue indicates highest compliance (80%-100%) to the League criteria. Grey indicates lowest (0%-20%). Generally, there's more blue in the policies and education columns and more grey in the infrastructure column. That shows how many states talk a better game than providing it with hard cash for road improvements.

In addition to the ranking, the League also produces a "report card" for each state, with suggestions for improvements. Washington is showing nine out of 10 "signs for success" according to its card. Montana only has four.

See the full report and methodology here.

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  • Chicago has made great strides to accommodate bikers in the city...adding bike lanes, traffic lights for cyclists and increasing opportunities for cyclists to employ biking as a serious transportation alternative. Still...with all the accommodations made -- cyclists are a menace to drivers. They take far too many chances, weaving in and out of cars, cutting through traffic and failing to yield when cars have the right of way. Personally, I'd love to be more supportive of cyclists everywhere, but can't - at least not in Chicago until laws for cyclists are enforced. I'm tired of feeling harassed by them. I've had cyclists spit on my car, pound on my car while in traffic, dart out in front of my car, leaving me almost no chance to not hit them. So far, I've been fortunate.

    Every time I see a "ghost bike", I can't help but think it was the cyclist's fault.

  • Typical motorist speaking from a privileged perspective. How many empty seats to you drive around with on a daily basis? The way most motorists use cars is comparable to using a sledgehammer when a tumbtack would suffice. Contemporary motorism and the automotive paradigm are a luxury of the investing classes and the shrinking middle class, and will quickly become a thing of the past as the cost of the automotive paradigm continues to rise and enslave its adherents.

  • Robert Bleck

    I don't think their criteria has much to do with an enjoyable ride. I was in Wheeling, WV last summer and enjoyed three days of spectacular riding. I've had great rides in Kentucky, especially in the Daniel Boone Forest. Florida is pretty bad, high traffic and inattentive drivers. Wisconsin is great, but more because of great rolling rural terrain and decent pavement width. I think this survey applies primarily to urban cycling. They're the ones who need policies and programs to create average at best cycling experiences.