Cycling’s Best Places

You didn’t think I was just going to give you the worst places, did you?  I’m every bit as interested in the best as defined by DOT and the CDC, at least in terms of weighted cyclist mortality rates.

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Here they are:


  1. Vermont
  2. Montana
  3. Oregon
  4. South Dakota
  5. Nebraska
  6. Colorado
  7. Washington
  8. Idaho
  9. Wyoming
  10. Alaska

MSAs (all at 97th percentile or above)

  • Ames, IA
  • Auburn-Opelika, AL
  • Battle Creek, MI
  • Billings, MT
  • Bismarck, ND
  • Bloomington, IN
  • Cape Girardeau, MO-IL
  • Carson City, NV
  • Casper, WY
  • Charleston, WV
  • Cleveland, TN
  • Coeur d’Alene, ID
  • Columbia, MO
  • Cumberland, MD-WV
  • Dalton, GA
  • Dubuque, IA
  • Duluth, MN-WI
  • Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL
  • Gadsden, AL
  • Glens Falls, NY
  • Grand Forks, ND-MN
  • Great Falls, MT
  • Hot Springs, AR
  • Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH
  • Iowa City, IA
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Jackson, TN
  • Janesville-Beloit, WI
  • Jefferson City, MO
  • Jonesboro, AR
  • Kankakee, IL
  • Kennewick-Richland, WA
  • Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA
  • Knoxville, TN
  • La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN
  • Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN
  • Laredo, TX
  • Lewiston, ID-WA
  • Lewiston-Auburn, ME
  • Lima, OH
  • Manhattan, KS
  • Medford, OR
  • Monroe, LA
  • Morgantown, WV
  • Morristown, TN
  • Muncie, IN
  • Niles-Benton Harbor, MI
  • Norwich-New London, CT
  • Ocean City, NJ
  • Pocatello, ID
  • Rapid City, SD
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Sheboygan, WI
  • Sioux City, IA-NE-SD
  • Springfield, OH
  • St. Cloud, MN
  • St. Joseph, MO-KS
  • State College, PA
  • Terre Haute, IN
  • Valdosta, GA
  • Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH
  • Wheeling, WV-OH
  • Williamsport, PA
  • Winchester, VA-WV

The MSA list is really intriguing on a couple of fronts.  For one thing, even though Alabama and Arkansas are two of the five most dangerous states overall, they have multiple entries on the safest MSAs list.   For another, some places you’d expect to see on the list are missing.  Davis, for example.  Fort Collins and Boulder, too.  Hmmm.

College towns are clearly over respresented, which is also very interesting since these are also the same places that most people mention when they talk about quality of life and where they’d eventually like to land at some point in life.  This seems to suggest that other places can learn from them.  I have some theories as to why this might be, but I’m going to attempt to keep the biases they spawn at bay and dig a little deeper into this.  More soon.


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