Road Biking in Grand Rapids
Bicycling can be a great way to experience a travel destination – it’s healthy, environmentally friendly and provides a whole different perspective than you get riding in an enclosed vehicle.
Grand Rapids is an ideal spot for a bike-inclusive getaway. It’s been recognized as a Top 50 Best Biking City by Bicycling Magazine and a bronze-level Bike-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. In addition to a vast network of off-street multi-use trails, bicyclists can take advantage of 80+ miles of bike lanes, separated bikeways and sidepaths along city streets.
The City of Grand Rapids produced a formal Bicycle Action Plan in 2019. The purpose of the plan was to “move Grand Rapids forward as a community where bicycling for transportation and recreation is a safe, comfortable and integral part of daily life in Grand Rapids for people of all ages, abilities, gender orientations and socio-economic levels.”
Since then, the city – and the region – have worked to make road biking even more convenient, accessible and affordable for residents and visitors alike.
The Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition is a helpful resource for any bikers visiting or living in West Michigan. Visit their website for maps of on-street and off-street bike routes, safety information and a list of local bike shops. It’s also worth checking out the Driving Change website for the rules of biking on Grand Rapids and Michigan roads.
If you don’t own a bike or you’re not traveling to GR with yours, you can rent one. The City of Grand Rapids operates a bike (and scooter) share program that allows visitors and residents to get around on two wheels. Download the Lime app to get started.
Downtown Grand Rapids encourages biking with hundreds of bicycle parking options, a handful of bike repair stations and the occasional bike box – a bright green box with white bicycle symbols inside, painted onto the pavement at select intersections. Motorists must stop behind the boxes when a traffic light turns red, allowing a bicyclist to move ahead of vehicle traffic. When the light turns green, the bicyclist can then turn left or go straight before the vehicles.
All of this is meant to make it easy to explore the city center’s 200+ restaurants, breweries, museums and entertainment venues without relying on a motor vehicle.
See and experience different aspects of the city on these bike routes:
- Reeds Lake, which takes you from scenic bike trails to charming neighborhood streets.
- Riverside Park and Monroe North, with fun restaurants and activities along the way.
- West Side to Uptown and Back Again, a 10-mile route that passes by John Ball Zoo, Fulton Street Farmers Market, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market and more.
Use pedal power to visit downtown restaurants, bars and breweries on a 16-person “pub cruiser” or 6-person “hops cycle.” Great Lakes Pub Cruiser offers customizable tours led by a knowledgeable driver.
Bus to bike and back again
All buses in our Rapid fleet are equipped with either a double-loading or triple-loading bike rack that fit most two-wheeled bicycles, including children's bikes – so you can easily travel to or between areas with more bike lanes.
Bike for charity
Ride in the annual Grand Rapids Gran Fondo, which offers four route options (up to 80 miles long) for cyclists of any skill level. This year’s Fondo is June 24, 2023 – 100% of proceeds benefit West Michigan Trails.