Readers Choice
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    Bend, Ore.

    Considered one of the nation's best destinations for mountain biking, Bend sits in the foothills where the Cascade Mountains meet the high desert, so it enjoys mild weather and a long riding season. With a staggering 484 miles of singletrack within an hour drive, riders of all levels can find the perfect trail in Bend (and a good microbrewery for a cold one after).

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    A frequent starting point for the Tour of California, Sacramento's main claim to cycling fame is its 32-mile American River Parkway bike trail, with plenty of access points to hop on and off to explore the city. A network of bike lanes and green-painted bike zones in the Capitol Mall make the roads safer for cyclists. This community is well-established and very friendly to two-wheelers.

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    Durango, Colo.

    With Durango as a base, a cyclist has access to thousands of miles of world-class singletrack downhills, switchbacks and trails in the mountains just outside of town. For road warriors looking to explore town on two wheels, there's the 7-mile Animas River Trail, a shared-use bike and pedestrian path that runs nearly the entire length of Durango. George Hincapie calls Durango an "outdoorsy, bike-friendly community."

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    George Hincapie nominated Tucson for, among other things, its strong winter appeal. During the colder months, the city becomes a hotbed of cycling activity as northern-based enthusiasts come down to enjoy mild winter temps and dry conditions of the high desert. The 55-mile car-free Urban Loop, in addition to a whopping 700 miles of bike lanes, makes this college town a favorite with road cyclists, while the surrounding mountains, including Mt. Lemmon, provide a wide range of terrain for mountain biking.

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    Chattanooga, Tenn.

    With plentiful green belts and a 10-mile multi-use path along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has quickly become a new 'it' spot among cyclists. The Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System features 30 stations spread throughout the city with touchscreen kiosks, making it a breeze for visitors to rent a bike and explore the city. The annual 3State/3Mountain Challenge which starts in Chattanooga is a favorite of George Hincapie's.

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    Greenville, S.C.

    Greenville is "the best place to ride a bike on the east coast," says George Hincapie, renowned competitive cyclist, this category's expert and a Greenville resident.  Located in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, the city's own Paris Mountain lures serious cyclists, but a vast network of low-traffic roads - and the lengthy Swamp Rabbit Trail for recreational cyclists make this Upstate destination a very bike-friendly city.  It's also hosted multiple Pro cycling events.

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    Madison, Wis.

    An up-and-coming cycling community and a League of American Bicyclists gold-medal community, Madison hosts racing events throughout the year. It also actively promotes a healthy lifestyle. The city's network of off-street bike paths and on-street lanes make it easy to get practically anywhere on two wheels. B-cycle, the city's bike share program, makes 350 bikes available from 35 stations spaced throughout the city.

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    Despite its northern latitude, Minneapolis often ranks among the top cities in the world for cycling, with features like indoor bike parking and over 120 miles of on- and off-street paths and trails. The city is super flat - perfect for leisurely two-wheel touring - and the convenient Nice Ride bike share program offers a fleet of 1,500 bicycles to residents and visitors of the Twin Cities.

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    Fort Collins, Colo.

    What's not to like about a city with a local brewery (New Belgium) that hosts an annual Bike-In Cinema series on its front lawn? Fort Collins' 310-mile network of paths and bike lanes, an innovative bike share program started back in 2008, and miles upon miles of mountain biking trails in the surrounding plains and mountains simply add to the appeal of this city, one of only four to hold the League of American Bicyclists platinum level ranking.  

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    Davis, Calif.

    Nicknamed "Bike City USA" and the "Bike Capital of America," Davis enjoys bike lanes on 95 percent of its arterial roadways, and a whopping 22 percent of residents commute by bike. It was the first (and one of only three) cities to earn a platinum designation by the League of American Bicyclists and is home of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.

The Experts

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