Boulder ranks 3rd according to Bicycling Magazine

Boulder once again makes another list of great cycling cities. This time Bicycling Magazine ranked Boulder 3rd out of 50 cities with Minneapolis and Portland sitting just higher.

From Bicycling Magazine

Recent art at the Dairy Center for Arts in Boulder
Another sign the cycling culture runs deep

Here is what they had to say about Boulder

Due to a network of on-street bike lanes and paths that allow for almost unimpeded two-wheeled travel, Boulder boasts the second-highest percentage of bike commuters in the United States (Davis, California, is first). After recently passing a $49 million transportation bond with substantial funding for cycling projects, the city broke ground on the Baseline Path, a key half-mile-long connection between East Boulder and the University of Colorado.

But Boulder’s crowning achievement may be Valmont Park, a 40-acre bike playground with knobby-tire amenities for all types, including a balance-bike track for toddlers. On weekends, pro downhillers catch big air alongside middle-school kids on the dirt jumps and slopestyle track, while families and cross-country racers alike zip along singletrack trails of varying difficulty.

Check out what other cities are listed and why at Bicycling Magazine

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Portland is amazing and very different than Boulder

While I've never been to Portland to observe their bike culture I have read a ton on their evolution and theirs is very different than that of Boulder. Boulder's cycling roots are in cycling athleticism where as Portland's seems to be more about anti car and eco focused. Minneapolis is very unknown to me and over the years I have heard that they are making great strides in cycling it is still very foreign to me .

Anybody have an opinion on either of these cities?

Boulder v. Portland v. Minneapolis

I think it's a bit unfair to simplify it so much. Portland's Cross Crusade series routinely draws fields that dwarf anything we see here, and Minneapolis has a strong history of high level cycling events, plus the ongoing Nature Valley Grand Prix. Both those cities seem, though to have a better, or maybe "more global" view on the cycling lifestyle. Commuters in Portland hang out with racers after hours, messengers in Minneapolis mingle with fat bike aficionados fresh off a frozen metric century ride. Boulder seems a bit more myopic in its athletic focus.

To be fair, part of it is likely the background of the respective cities. Minneapolis & Portland are both larger and far more urban areas than Boulder, so with the infrastructure of each of the other two towns, more people are likely to use bikes as transportation.

Anyway, to stir the pot a bit I guess. Discuss.

Minn/St. Paul and Portland

Minn/St. Paul and Portland have great bike cultures for commuters, rec riders, family riding, racing...

So does Boulder, but given the size of these cities there are many more challenges to making them "great" in terms of biking from a planning and local government perspective. It's interesting that Bike Mag set the population threshold at 95,000 and Boulder's population is 97,000.