Cycling in the United States
The USA weaves a wonderful web of cycling routes and mountain biking trails all across the country, in urban and rural spaces and across every terrain imaginable. In all major cities, you can hire bikes, many through bike-share stations, and it’s always a brilliant way to explore a city (especially in the summer), whether for an hour, an afternoon or the whole day. Explore cycling opportunities in five U.S. states below.
The Sam Vadalabene Great River Road Bike Trail in Alton, Illinois (just a 40-minute drive from St Louis, Missouri) provides scenery of rare beauty, meandering along 35km along the banks of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers and within Pere Marquette State Park.
Cyclists in Montana
Ohio also boasts plenty of wonderful spots to take a ride, including the Little Miami Scenic Trail and the 2,300km Buckeye Trail, which loops around state, starting near Cleveland and passing through the Hocking Hills region and the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park, partly on roads, partly on a trail.
Other great spots for cycling include Oregon and its innovative and aesthetically diverse Scenic Bikeways Program, which guide visitors between the state’s best attractions on a bike. Also in Oregon, check out The Deschutes River Trail and the Gorge 400 Trail in Hood River, which is famous for its rugged beauty and challenging terrain.
Cycling in Portland, Oregon
Elsewhere, Maine is the road-rider’s dream due to its scenic rural back roads but also boasts great off-roading opportunities at the Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park, as well as the trails and trials of Maine’s 15 state parks and the Rail Trails - multi-day trips along former railway lines transformed into recreational trails.
Cycling aficionados would be mad to miss a guided bike tour down California’s wonderful coastline or through wine country (who could resist a lovely drop in Napa Valley?)
Cycling Events in the USA
The USA is also home to increasing numbers of bike festivals, such as the annual Ozark Mountain Bike Fest through the thrilling trails of Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork, Arkansas every April. The Wilmington Grand Prix in Delaware, the AMGEN Tour of California (an 8-day race and the most important in the USA), the Tour of the Gila in Silver City, New Mexico (check out the Criterium - the race’s best day for spectators) and the Black Hills Fat Tire Festival (near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota) are all in May, while the Tour of Lawrence, Kansas and Crested Butte Bike Week in Colorado happen every June. By July, it’s all about RAGBRAI in Iowa - the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world, attracting thousands from all over the USA and beyond. Also in July is the Seattle to Portland Classic, while August sees the Vermont Challenge and October the Jamestown classic in Rhode Island. All are enjoyable challenges to take part in.