Fifty years ago, the City of Davis, known as “The Bicycle Capital of America”, installed the first bike lanes in the United States, transforming its transportation infrastructure irrevocably. Since then, the city’s network has grown to over 100 miles of bike lanes and off-street bike paths, establishing Davis as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the U.S. (read more on the history of bicycling in Davis)

Recipient of the first platinum-level Bicycle Friendly City rating from the League of American Bicyclists in 2005, Davis leads the nation in bicycling as a mode of transportation with a higher share of workers commuting by bicycle than any other city in the U.S. With over half of UC Davis students and employees commuting to campus by bicycle, UC Davis was named a platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University in 2013.

Bikes are a common and normal part of life in Davis, and both the city and UC Davis have implemented numerous programs and policies that encourage and celebrate bicycling. Davis is thus a living laboratory for research on bicycling as a mode of transportation.

UC Davis researchers have been generating important insights for over four decades on questions such as:

  • What factors explain why some people bicycle and others don’t?
  • Why do women bicycle substantially less than men?
  • What impact do new bicycling facilities have on bicycling rates?
  • How does pavement quality affect the bicycling experience?
  • What are the pros and cons of electric-assist bicycles?
  • How does bicycling affect outcomes such as health, the environment, and happiness?
  • How do bicycle-rider mechanics affect cycling quality?
  • What methods ensure bicycling efficiency and bicycling at maximum potential?