Where to Wander by Bike in 2017

2017 Travel Bucket List

a photo album of 10 cities you should visit (and bike in)

3 years, 25 Travel Guides

It's been 3 years since I launched Bikabout.com and wowee, the places it's taken me. This past year of 2016 was quite the packed itinerary, visiting 14 cities (and many small towns), producing 7 new travel guides and moving cross country from Boston to Hood River, OR. I have just begun to catch my breath, which is why this will be our first new blog post since July!

Where did we go in 2016?

What Cities we Missed in 2016?

People often ask me how I choose our destinations. The answer is a cocktail of: 1) opportunity, 2) friends and family, 3) bike friendly hotels host us, 4) city tourism agencies host us, and 5) I can't wait to bike there.

For those keeping score based on our 2016 Bucket List, here are the cities we missed. We love these cities but they aren't ready to love us back. If you know a bike friendly hotel that can host us or have a friend within city tourism, feel free to introduce us!

2017 Bucket List

1. Bend, OR

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Silver
  • Bike Score: 64

Our new "backyard", Bend is like a Pacific Northwest version of Boulder. It's a relatively flat city surrounded by mountains. They have a thriving Main Street, local businesses and scenic waterfront paths. Visit TBD.

2. Madison, WI

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Platinum
  • Bike Score: 73

I was born in Madison and owe the city and Wisconsin's strong biking culture to my "Stranger Things" childhood where our bikes were our source of freedom, adventure, friendship and transportation. But besides being a recent Platinum inductee (only 5 cities in the U.S. have this distinction), Madison has a very dense culinary scene, most of which is bikeable. I'll be attending the Places for Bikes conference, June 28-30, a perfect excuse to network and visit my parents, grandparents, sister and whole family.

3. Milwaukee, WI

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Bronze
  • Bike Score: Not Ranked

Nobody thinks of Milwaukee as a "beach town", but it is! It's like the smaller version of Chicago with a gridded street design and lots of waterfront bike trails. Neighborhoods are hidden gems with old houses converted into bars and restaurants. Our visit will be over the 4th of July.

4. Portland, OR

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Platinum
  • Bike Score: 72

Portland has the most thoughtful and developed culinary scene for a city, hands down! As the beer capital of world (we just declared it such), there's nothing better than riding your bike casually between food and drink tastings. Now that we live in Hood River, Portland is a "Gorgeous" 60 mile drive or 2 hour Amtrak train ride, a weekend trip that we'll be making often. Next trip is for the Active Transportation and Bike Tourism Summit, March 20-22.

5. Port Townsend, WA

 Photo by Tyson Gillard of Outdoor Project

Photo by Tyson Gillard of Outdoor Project

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Silver
  • Bike Score: Not ranked.

As one of the cities we almost moved to, I am very keen to visit Port Townsend for the first time. Without knowing too much about the community, it strikes me as a smaller Vancouver. Oceanfront town with mountains is my cup of tea. Visit - TBD.

6. Salt Lake City

 Photo by GreenBike SLC

Photo by GreenBike SLC

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Silver
  • Bike Score: 69

Salt Lake City will be another first time city for us. They were just ranked as the #2 friendliest city in America by Travel + Leisure, a distinction that bodes well for biking. With Greenbikes bike share, a recent protected bike lane treatment on Broadway and a stay at bike friendly Hotel Monaco, I'm sure we'll have a great time. Visit - April 15-17.

7. Seattle, WA

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Gold
  • Bike Score: 63

Seattle is our favorite city in America, much owed to their radio station, KEXP, and the city's overall great music community. Its neighborhoods north of downtown, Ballard, Fremont and Queen Anne, are the sweet spots, connected by family friendly bike routes with lots of water vistas. Like, Portland, we'll be taking weekend trips as often as we can. Visit - anytime an artist we love plays a KEXP Instudio.

8. Sedona, AZ

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Silver
  • Bike Score: Not ranked

The land between the canyon lands of southern Utah and northern Arizona is pure magic to me. When I was 21, I took a year off of college to take a road trip around the U.S. and it was a highly unplanned hike to Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon that forever defined my idea of "an adventure". No matter what else Sedona has to offer, I'm most looking forward to cruising on beginner trails between the rock formations and splashing in many swimming holes.

9. Vancouver, BC

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Not ranked (Canadian city)
  • Bike Score: 91

Canadian cities have a much higher percentage of people who ride bikes daily for transportation than America. When we visit Vancouver or Montreal, we feel normal. Bikeways and walkways are separated (from cars and from each other) and there is an actual connected network. It's been 3 years since we visited so we look forward to returning sometime this summer to soak in the beaches, public art and neighborhoods.

10. Victoria, BC

 Photo by The Pedaler Bike Tours

Photo by The Pedaler Bike Tours

  • Bike Friendly Community rating: Not ranked (Canadian city)
  • Bike Score: 97

Victoria's aggressive bike plan is going to leap frog them to one day be the most bikeable North American city. So many people have told me that I MUST visit Victoria and it was also in consideration for our Pacific Northwest relocation. Cannot wait to roll in bliss in the beautiful city sometime this summer.

Follow our 2017 on Instagram @bikabout

Our travels are chronicled on Instagram and organized by city using #bikabout<city name>.