Inter-city travel by bicycle is strictly for sport in the U.S., but some cities make it easy and safe for bicyclists to commute by maintaining special bicycle lanes, bicycle lockup parking, bicycle racks on public busses, and even separate bicycle traffic lights. Portland, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado each have good reputations as bicycle friendly cities. It may come as a surprise that large, congested cities like New York and San Francisco (known for its hills) have high percentages of bicycle commuters, but in these localities, biking may well be quicker (and cheaper) than driving a car or using public transportation.
With concern over gasoline prices and environmental issues, a small percentage of Americans have begun to commute to work on bicycles, often using bicycles designed specifically for this purpose. In most large cities, however, riding a bicycle can be very dangerous. In general, American automobile drivers are not used to looking out for or yielding to bicyclists. If you do ride a bicycle in a city, wear a helmet and protect yourself. Ride with extreme caution. Lock your bike, or better still, take it with you. As in most parts of the world, bicycle thieves are particularly clever, and the bike itself provides an ideal escape vehicle.
For cycling as a American sport, see www.lifeintheusa.com/everyday/cycling.htm
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