News report | | 23/06/2022 | ±5 minutes reading time

If you want to go on a cycling holiday, you might not immediately think of the United States. However, there are many places in the US where you can enjoy a good cycling trip. In this article you can read about some beautiful places and bicycle routes in the USA and why you need an ESTA USA for this trip.

The US as a cycling country?

The United States is not exactly known for its friendliness towards cyclists, and yet there are plenty of opportunities to get around by bicycle. The US is, in fact, catching up in the field of cycling infrastructure with the help of Dutch knowledge and craftsmanship. A number of locations from this list are a good example of that Dutch influence.

Swamp Rabbit Trail, Greenville, South Carolina

A first-class bike path is a welcome extra in most cities, but this one is truly the centrepiece of the community in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Greenville, also known as “Bike Town”, is a city that has wholeheartedly embraced the culture of cycling. Not only has the city built many protected bike lanes to keep cyclists safe while sharing the road with motorists, but Greenville has also built a special trail that provides access to a wide variety of local attractions. The paved Swamp Rabbit Trail runs for nearly 20 miles along the Reedy River on an old railway track, bringing the once-abandoned area to life. The trail winds past local restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and a host of other places, making it a convenient and relaxing way to explore Greenville by bike. The bike path is attractive to cyclists of all ages and skill levels, especially the part that runs between Greenville and Travelers Rest.

Moab, Utah

While there are certainly plenty of roads to cycle on in and around Moab, the real attraction of Moab is the excellent mountain bike trails surrounding this town in eastern Utah. Not far from Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Moab is home to some of the best mountain bike trails in the world. There are dozens of trails accessible directly from town, and many more can be reached with a short drive, including the Captain Ahab Trail and the Slickrock Trail. Slickrock is the most famous of these trails among more experienced cyclists and mountain bikers. For a little more relaxation, ride the scenic Gemini Bridges Trail. This trail contains some of the most impressive views in the entire area. Afterwards, take a ride on the Whole Enchilada, which has become something of a rite of passage for avid mountain bikers from all over the world. And later, when you head back to town, recharge your batteries at the Desert Bistro or Moab Brewery.

Manhattan, New York

For a great cycling experience in the heart of New York, you should visit Manhattan. Of course, you always have to keep your eyes open for traffic on the busy city centre streets, but if you cycle up the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, you will discover a whole new perspective on New York City. This 50-kilometre loop takes cyclists along the East Side, through The Battery, to East Harlem, 83rd Street and even Midtown. At various points, you can turn off the bike path for food, drinks and other refreshments. Except for a few short sections, cyclists are completely separated from motor vehicles, making this a surprisingly relaxing ride and a unique way to explore NYC.

Cycling among the locals

Not only have the large tourist cities become more bicycle-friendly. Smaller and more remote towns have also embraced the bicycle. One of these is Santa Cruz, California, where the first Gazelle Experience Center in America opened this year. Despite the mountainous landscape there, young and old alike cycle everywhere. The locals are great advocates of good cycling infrastructure. Wherever you cycle in Santa Cruz, the beach is never far away, so between climbing and descending, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in Monterey Bay.

Davis, California, is also known for its bicycle-friendly infrastructure. There is an 80-kilometre-long cycle path network here, which has been under construction since 1967, when the very first cycle path in the US was built in Davis. There are now more bicycles in Davis than residents, and the university subsidises students who exchange their cars for a bicycle. The bicycle is therefore an excellent means of exploring Davis and its surroundings.

Boca Raton, a city in Florida, has also become aware of the importance of bicycles and has constructed a bicycle path along some of Boca Ratonʼs major destinations, such as the tri-rail station and the universities. To measure how many people are using that bike path, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) launched the Statewide Non-Motorized Traffic Monitoring Program.

Shared bicycles

Many places offer the possibility of bike-sharing, New York, Chicago, and Washington being the three cities with the most shared bikes. The market for shared bicycles in America is very large, because few people own a bicycle or use it on a daily basis. Also, in many big cities there is not enough space to park your own bike safely. A shared bike is a good alternative to get people on their bikes.

Watch out for cars

There are many more wonderful cycling routes spread across the USA that have not been mentioned in this article. So there is still plenty to discover on a cycling holiday in the US. Unfortunately, the car still has the upper hand and many car drivers are not used to sharing the road with cyclists. They also tend to drive faster due to the many straight stretches of road. So stay alert when cycling on a road where cars also drive.

Applying for an ESTA USA

For travelling to America, in order to enjoy all these beautiful young cycling paths, you need an ESTA USA. The ESTA is a digital travel authorisation that can be easily applied for online and is cheaper than a visa America. Please read the requirements carefully before you leave, so that there are no surprises along the way.