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The Safest Cities for Cyclists in 2021

In our last report on the safest cities to cycle, Davis, California, grabbed the safest city title. In 2021, things changed: some cities got a little bit safer, others let their guard down.

Is your city keeping cyclists safely behind their handlebars? Let’s find out.

CityStateSafety Ranking
Mountain ViewCalifornia5
Fort CollinsColorado6
San FranciscoCalifornia8
Santa BarbaraCalifornia9

Safe City Highlights

  • 2021 saw an upswing in bike sales. According to Outside Online, lifestyle bike sales in the US increased 200% in April of 2021 compared to April of 2020. The boom may be a response to the early days of COVID-19-related lockdowns, with many people itching to exercise amid gym and park closures.
  • Boulder snagged first place. Boulder, Colorado’s overall score increased by 8% from our 2020 report, upgrading the city’s third place title to the coveted first-place prize.
  • Memphis brought the bike lanes. Memphis, Tennessee, had the most protected bike lanes built of any US city in 2021, with a total of 7.68 miles. None of the other towns even came close. Eugene, Oregon, had 2.4 miles of protected bike lanes built, the most of any city from our 2020 report—that’s 69% fewer bike lanes than Memphis.
  • Alaska had the largest bike budget. For the second year in a row, Alaska had the largest budget set aside just for cyclists. In 2020, Alaska spent $9.71 on cycling per person, bumping that number up to $11.90 per person in 2021—a 22.5% increase.
  • Minneapolis won for the most mileage. Minneapolis, Minnesota, had the most miles of bike lanes overall in 2021, at a total of 41.7 miles. To put that stat in context, the average miles of overall bike lengths from our 2021 report was 0.98, meaning Minneapolis had 4,155% more miles of bike lanes than the average US city.


To determine the safest and least safe US cities for bikers, the team at gathered data from, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, People for Bikes, and The League of American Bicyclists to find the percentage of bike commuters, number of fatal crashes, amount of bike lanes, what bike laws are in place or are being created in each city, and city spending on cyclists per capita, respectively. City selection was dependent upon data availability.

To compare each city, we created a 100-point scale. We added each metric together with the following weight:

  • Bike commuters: x3
  • Fatal crashes: x6
  • Protected bike lanes: x1
  • Proposed protected bike lanes: x.5
  • Complete street law: x1
  • Safe passing law: x1
  • Statewide bike plan: x1
  • Bike safety emphasis area: x1
  • Spending per capita: x1

Finally, the total 288 cities were ranked based on their overall score.

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