With the threats of climate change and adult obesity still looming large in the public consciousness, e-bikes for city commuters are in greater demand than ever. The local governments of several cities throughout the country have recognized the advantages of bicycles and taken steps to make their cities more bicycle-friendly. The following are cities generally recognized among the most bike-able in the country. For the most part, these cities are also welcoming to e-bikes, though exceptions are noted
1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis is home to a strong community of bike advocates. As a result, it is a leader in bike culture with a well-established network of bike routes and forward-thinking laws that classify e-bikes as bicycles as long as they have a motor less than 1,000 watts that cannot exceed speeds of 20 miles per hour alone.
Even the often brutal winters in Minnesota aren’t always enough to deter Minneapolis cyclists. These hardy folk are well used to adapting to colder temperatures, so they simply bundle up and equip their bikes with fat tires and other modifications appropriate to the conditions.
2. Portland, Oregon
The city of Portland is one of the most serious in the country when it comes to supporting bike culture. It has invested $60 million in bike infrastructure. The investment pays off because over 22,000 people in Portland commute to work on a bicycle every day, which is 6.3% of the total population. People in Portland looking for an electric bicycle for sale should be relieved to know that e-bikes have been classified as bicycles rather than motor vehicles in Oregon since 1997.
3. Missoula, Montana
If you’re thinking that the largest and most cosmopolitan cities have been the biggest leaders in the bike-friendly movement, think again. Missoula is a relatively small and remote city in the American West, yet it was working to improve bicycling as far back as 1976. Missoula is constantly growing its network of bike trails despite working with a relatively small budget. It is home to the first designated bike traffic signal in Montana and one of the first modern protected bike lanes in the country.
Unfortunately, e-bikes seem to represent a blind spot in Missoula’s forward-looking bicycle policies. They are still classified as motor vehicles and cannot go on non-motorized trails.
4. Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital has successfully promoted safe bicycling by starting with the young. Bike riding courses are required for all second graders in public schools. Like Missoula, Washington was also an early adopter of protected bike lanes. Promoting bike culture is a practical matter for both the city government and the public. The District of Columbia saves millions of dollars from bike-sharing, and travel by bicycle tends to be quicker in densely populated areas. The law in D.C. classifies e-bikes as bicycles as long as the motor cannot exceed 20 miles per hour.
5. San Francisco, California
San Francisco has the highest median age of any city on this list. Therefore, electric bikes for seniors are sought after, partly to get around on the city’s infamously hilly terrain. California law grants e-bike riders the same rights as traditional cyclists but also recognizes three classes of e-bikes with different restrictions for each.
If you live in one of these cities, you are particularly lucky. However, online retailers can outfit you no matter where you dwell.