Last week, the League of American Bicyclists updated its list of the most bike-friendly communities in the United States and Walk Score, an organization that rates rental properties based on the walkability of the surrounding neighborhood, charted new territory with Bike Score, a list of the top 10 bikeable cities. Both of these groups use things like biking infrastructure and amenities, such as connecting bike lanes with public transit, to put together their rankings.
But from an Outside perspective, good cycling means more than bike lanes and flat routes for commuting to work. We want interesting topography, and sometimes that means a lung-burning ascent or two (or three) on scenic roads. We want sweet singletrack and solitude, but we also want great places to gather for a post-ride drink.
Herewith, the top 10 Outside bike towns. The list is based on the magazine's Best Towns ranking tool, with road biking and mountain biking turned all the way up to 11. We then adjusted the list to boost the ranking of towns that also appear on the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) top spots and Bike Score's top 10.