Why You Should Explore Cities by Bike
Halibutboy Flatface stashed this in Outdoors
I could add... you vastly expand the areas of the city where you can easily stay, eat, and party.
One caveat is that different cities have different bike rules so be aware:
A big concern about riding in a new city is safety. Unfamiliar traffic in a new place can be quite intimidating. Each city has two sets of traffic rules: the stated ones and the unspoken rules. It behooves you to be aware of both! If the city has a bike advocacy group, they will usually have information regarding laws about riding bikes in their city. Many cities have strict laws against riding on the sidewalk. Some cities have bus lanes that are also shared by bikes. Some cities expect you to ride on the left side of a one-way street, others on the right.
The unspoken rules of traffic are more interesting and take closer observation to discern. To get a sense of how traffic moves and interacts with bicycles, sometimes we will walk a few blocks in the city center and just observe. Are drivers generally aware of pedestrians and bikes? Which streets seem to have the most bike traffic (generally a good indicator of what streets to ride)? By taking a short walk on the sidewalk you can gradually become acclimatized to the new traffic environment, instead of trying to make sense of it while dodging car doors.