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The Most Bike-Friendly Cities in California
Health & Fitness

The Most Bike-Friendly Cities in California

Tone your calves and roll through the leisurely lifestyle of these most bike-friendly cities in California.

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4 min read

September 22, 2022

Forget pedaling to the office only on Bike-to-Work Day. Instead, make everyday biking a lifestyle choice. Diverse landscapes, great weather, and constantly improving infrastructure—California’s best cities for biking have a lot to offer. From rigorous mountain biking trails to leisurely lanes through the city, the best bike-friendly cities are a cyclist’s paradise. 

If you live in one of these bike-friendly cities in California, put your calf muscles to work and reduce your carbon footprint by embracing your city’s bike-friendly nature. Here are the best ones so far:

BIKE-FRIENDLY CITIES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Get your biking shorts on and stroll through the mesmerizing coast of San Diego.

SAN DIEGO

San Diego is already pretty bike-friendly. But, with an ambitious plan underway that was proposed in 2016, the city is spending over $60 million throughout the next 30 years to make San Diego even more of a bikeable city. Next time you visit, add a couple of San Diego bike trails to Socal your itinerary and discover America’s Finest City on two wheels. 

Bike trail to try: Point Loma Cabrillo Monument.

A 16-mile trail with incredible views of Point Loma, Downtown San Diego, and Coronado? This is a trail you don’t want to miss. Leading you to a city landmark with historic significance, as one of the best biking trails in San Diego. We know it sounds too good to be true, but we promise it’s worthwhile.

LONG BEACH

You can’t go wrong with a city that celebrates bike month every year with rides, bike-in movies, social media campaigns, and more fun activities. Long Beach has secured its place among California’s most bikeable cities with five major Class I bike lanes totaling over 60 miles—you won’t run out of Class II and III lanes to explore either.

Bike trail to try: Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath 

Stretching from Alamitos Bay to Shoreline Village, this 4.2-mile bike lane takes you along the main beach of the city on a separate paved path. Enjoy the ocean breeze, wide path, and friendly community of bikers as you pedal along the edge of this bikeable city’s waters.

The Golden State offers a plethora of breathtaking biking trails, and Los Angeles is no exception.

LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles is infamous for its traffic and long commutes. But don’t let that distract you from the fact that the City of Angels is still one of the most bike-friendly cities in Southern California. With perfect weather year-round, many bike trails to choose from, and a topography that allows both beginner and experienced riders to explore, Los Angeles is a haven for bikers.

Bike trail to try: Mount Hollywood Loop.

Located in the iconic Griffith Park, this trail takes you all around the park, up Commonwealth Canyon Drive, and down to Vermont Canyon. You’ll bike across city landmarks like the Griffith Observatory, all while enjoying stellar downtown views. The best part? It’s also one of the best places to watch the sunset in Southern California. We don’t know about you, but it sounds like the perfect ride for us. To Bike in California is to get the perfect biking experience after all. 

BIKEABLE CITIES IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Let the palm trees guide your biking trails in Santa Barbara.

SANTA BARBARA

Santa Barbara is one of the best bike-friendly cities for road cycling fans. While the scenic Santa Ynez Valley and thrilling Gibraltar Road are the most frequented routes in the city, you’ll find plenty of other trails to explore as well. Besides boasting fantastic cycling trails, Santa Barbara has an active biking community that advocates for bikers’ rights in the city. Currently working on implementing a Bicycle Master Plan to further improve the cycling circulation, this Central Coast standout gives you a biking community you can always fall back on.

Bike trail to try: Santa Barbara to Ventura.

Want to bike through charming beach towns like Summerland and Montecito? Try biking all the way from Santa Barbara to Ventura. This point-to-point journey packs in the coastal views like nobody’s business. It’s surely a can’t-miss thing to do on the Central Coast.

SAN LUIS OBISPO

San Luis Obispo is a rather underrated city for Central Coast biking, but it has great bike trails any biker would love to explore. For scenic rides along the water, the Central Coast beach town of Avila Beach is especially incredible. Enjoy cruising along uncrowded lanes featuring fantastic views and through the coolest small towns as you pedal around one of California's best bike-friendly small towns.

Bike trail to try: Bob Jones Trail.

Perhaps the most well-known trail in the county, the Bob Jones Bike Trail is enjoyable for bikers of all levels. You’ll start the ride near Highway 1 and cycle by a Buddhist temple and apple orchards before crossing San Luis Obispo Creek—your final destination is the iconic Avila Beach Pier.

THE MOST BIKE-FRIENDLY CITIES IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

SACRAMENTO

The Golden State's capital is a bike city through and through. Home to some of the state’s most well-known bike trails, Sacramento is increasingly becoming more bike-friendly. While Midtown Sacramento scores the highest in regards to its bike-friendly nature, Downtown, Med Center, North Oak Park, and other areas of the state capital are great options to pedal to the metal.

Bike trail to try: American River Bike Trail.

Also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, this famous biking route stretches all the way from Folsom Lake to Old Sacramento. The 30-mile point-to-point trail has plenty of awesome stops and access points along the way, so you are in no way obliged to ride it in its entirety (kudos to you if you do though).

Bike down the hills of the beautiful Bay Area for a breezy ride. Don't forget your helmets!

SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco is always working to improve its infrastructure and safety to better accommodate Bay Area bikers. Tons of must-ride bike routes in S.F. make its reputation as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in NorCal a well-earned title. Whether you’re a local searching for a good workout or a tourist looking to see the city in a more eco- and budget-friendly way, San Francisco’s bike lanes have you covered.

Bike trail to try: Golden Gate Bridge Bike Trail.

Some call it a cliché, we call it a classic—the Golden Gate Bridge Trail is famous for a reason. The 11-mile loop trail is one of the best rides the Bay Area has to offer. The views are stellar and the ride is exhilarating, so don’t miss out on one of the best bike trails in Sacramento.

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