One of the things I love most about Europe is its bicycle culture. Bikes leaning against canals in Amsterdam. On wobbly cobblestone roads peddled by pradas in Italy. With a pain au chocolat bouncing in its basket in Provence. Cheap, self-rented Velibs in Paris.
So,when we returned home, it’s not by chance that our family chose to put down roots in a Northern California university town that is known for its biking culture.
Our small city is a national pioneer in bicycle friendly roads and traffic systems, and has apparently been named the most bicycle friendly small city in America. We have more than 100 miles of paved bike paths that run through our neighborhood greenbelts, and we are home to the US Bicycling Hall of Fame. Any family garage is likely filled with more bikes (various types depending on child age, like bike seats, burleys and tag alongs) than cars. (I love it.)
So recently I was thrilled when I stumbled upon a new outdoor art installation near my daughter’s school.
Our kids like to choose which color is their favorite. (I like lime green). While I am grateful for art like this, I am even more grateful for living in a city – an American city – where you can still ride and see bicycles everywhere.( Some say we have more bikes than people here.) Even if suburban-like streets replace cobblestone (cobblestone hurts more when you fall, just ask me) and the women wear dorky (but safe!) bike helmets instead of fashionable shoes.
What is your favorite bicycle-friendly city?