Here's an interesting piece (called Bicycle Wars in the URL) quoting cyclists and motorists from here and there around this Great Land. The narrative begins in Brookline MA, where Tamar grew up, and ends in Denver, where we live and ride today.
Note the map, highlighting Bicycling Magazine's best cycling cities -- all are in the northern half of the country except Tucson. Perhaps a six-month riding season -- unless you're a die-hard -- adds points to your town's cycling-friendliness score.
Ah, Tucson. Tamar and I believe that Tucson's best efforts are aimed at lobbying and courting these awards, not at actualizing or enhancing rubber-on-the-road bike-friendliness. We looked carefully, as you'd imagine, for cycling friendliness in Tucson during the years we lived there.
You could say we looked under every rock, redneck and smug retired contractor from Omaha, yearning as we did for the fabled Tucson bike lanes paved with high-consciousness motorist gold. We came up empty-handed. Riding in groups was iffy; riding solo was just too scary.
The car is king everywhere in the US, and given our mentality as a nation, perhaps that's as it should be or must be. But that unthinking reliance on motor vehicles is worst, we feel, in new America, in areas where almost no one wanted to live before the advent of air conditioning.
It must be bicycle award season, huh? I wonder what these fetes are supposed to accomplish.... Do I want to pick up and move to one of the lauded cities? Would you?