(NB: I read about Uneasy Rhetoric in today’s Sacramento Bee, and the site turned up when I was searching for Sacramento bicycling information, so I decided to check out the post. I started to leave a comment, but it got long enough that I wanted to post it here on my own site and pingback to the original article.)
Uneasy Rhetoric faults Bicycling Magazine for failing to include Sacramento on its list of “best bicycling cities”. I’m a bicycle commuter, and I’m afraid I have to agree with Bicycling Magazine–Sacramento has a long ways to go before we become a “top town” for biking.
The rating criteria included:
- “Cycling-friendly” statistics
- Bike culture
- Surveys of experts and Bicycling Magazine readers
I’d say that Sacramento gets top marks for climate and geography. Our topography is almost absolutely flat, and the weather is very mild. In any given year we only get a few rain storms (real storms) and the temperature just barely gets below freezing a couple of days. (I don’t think they care about how hot it gets, since Phoenix got an honorable mention.)
I think Sacramento lost points for lack of bike racks and city bike projects. The article doesn’t mention it, so I’m guessing they didn’t give any points for Regional Transit’s bicycle-friendly operation. We also probably lost on “Bike culture (number of bike commuters, popular clubs, cool cycling events, renowned bike shops)”. (Emphasis mine.) Talk about some subjective measurements! (Except for number of bike commuters.) I’ve heard that approximately 1% of commute trips in Sacramento are via bicycle, but I can’t find documentation or references to support (or refute) that claim. As for bike culture in Sac, honestly we could use some more buzz. Anybody want to help with a Sacramento bicycling podcast?