This week brought yet more ranking of Tucson’s bicycling scene.

The result was both good and bad news for the city.

First the bad.

Bicycling magazine released its rankings on Monday — Tucson slipped out of the top 10.

In 2010, the last year the rankings were updated, Tucson was ranked 9, but this year Tucson fell to the No. 12 spot.

Bicycling magazine is the most read bicycling publication in the country and its rankings are arguably the second most influential behind the League of American Bicyclists’ rankings, which were released last week.

Here’s what the magazine said about Tucson:

Claims to Fame: The city with the most bike-lane miles (620!) in the nation has a bike-boulevard plan totaling 170 miles, and the Cyclovia, which helped increase bike commuting by 58 percent. What the non-profit Bicycle Inter-Community Art and Salvage (BICAS) doesn’t refurbish, it sells at an annual bicycle-art auction.

Biggest Challenge: Money remains scarce for fresh asphalt on worn-out non-arterial roads, although the city recently repaved a strip on the 4th Avenue bike boulevard.

Chicago, Washington DC and Fort Collins, Colo. all moved up the list to knock Tucson to the No. 12 spot.

See the entire list of 50 best bike cities.

Now onto the good.

Outside Magazine released their best bike riding cities yesterday and picked Tucson as the top city for biking. Their rankings did not focus on flat roads and bike commuting.

Here is what they said about how they picked the Top 10:

Last week, the League of American Bicyclists updated its list of the most bike-friendly communities in the United States and Walk Score, an organization that rates rental properties based on the walkability of the surrounding neighborhood, charted new territory with Bike Score, a list of the top 10 bikeable cities. Both of these groups use things like biking infrastructure and amenities, such as connecting bike lanes with public transit, to put together their rankings.

But from an Outside perspective, good cycling means more than bike lanes and flat routes for commuting to work. We want interesting topography, and sometimes that means a lung-burning ascent or two (or three) on scenic roads. We want sweet singletrack and solitude, but we also want great places to gather for a post-ride drink.

Herewith, the top 10 Outside bike towns. The list is based on the magazine’s Best Towns ranking tool, with road biking and mountain biking turned all the way up to 11. We then adjusted the list to boost the ranking of towns that also appear on the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) top spots and Bike Score’s top 10.

1: Tucson, Arizona: This college town is surrounded by mountains but also hosts more than 700 miles (!) of bike lanes, two factors that puts Tucson on top of the Outside list and also earns it big points in both the LAB and Bike Score lists.

Check out the rest of their list.

2 thoughts on “Two more bike rankings announced this week”
  1. I’m not lucky enough to be able to commute to work by bicycle, however as a weekend warrior roadie this is all I need to love Tucson over the other cities ranked: “The city with the most bike-lane miles (620!)”.

  2. Super cool.  With 700-ish miles of bike lanes and about 450 miles of mountain bike-able singletrack in the surrounding mountains, Tucson is definitely a recreational bike riding hotspot.  Yay us!

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