Some fanatics of both bicycles and baseball make it their mission to pedal to all 30 parks in the bigs. For the rest of us, arriving at an MLB game by bicycle here and there can be enough excitement. Not every city on the circuits is ideal for cycling, but we’ll take a closer look at MLB’s best cities for riding your bike to a game.
San Francisco: Keep On Cyclin’
Call it Oracle Park, Pac Bell, or Willie Mays Field—San Francisco’s modern waterfront classic is one of the best ballparks to arrive at by bicycle. San Franciscans are used to eschewing cars for personal and public alternatives, and the Giants are happy to help with over 100 spaces to chain up bikes. The San Francisco Bike Coalition assists as well with free valet services outside the park. San Francisco’s network of bikeways makes arriving and departing a breeze—and not those stiff breezes from the days of Candlestick Park.
Chicago: That Pedalin’ Town
The Friendly Confines are indeed confined. Wrigley Field, that idyllic and bucolic green oasis on Chicago’s dense North Side, only covers about 10.4 acres—good luck finding places to park. The Chicago Cubs encourage the use of public transportation, as old WGN viewers could tell you. And while the Red Line ‘L’ and CTA buses will drop you off near Clark and Addison, why not bike to Wrigley instead? Chicago’s bikeshare system, Divvy, makes it easy to pedal through the city, while outright owners can trust their bikes under the watchful eye of the Cubs’ free bike-check service. Just make sure you ride safely through those city streets—Chicago traffic can be a free-for-all. Wrigley’s South Side counterpart, Guaranteed Rate Field, makes riding doorstep to doorstep is a little tougher. However, you can bring your bikes on the ‘L’ and lock up along the Red and Green Lines’ 35th Street stations nearby.
Washington, D.C.: Avoid District-ed Driving
Since the Metro opened in 1976, Washingtonians have gotten used to getting around without cars—it’s a city where gridlock is both figurative and literal. When Les Expos departed Montréal after the 2004 season, the newly minted Washington Nationals accommodated cyclists by planning to offer extensive bike racks at the new Nationals Park. The stadium provides over 250 opportunities for bike parking along with valet service. Nats-loving riders withstand DC’s humidity to pedal to games, and with no shortage of tourist attractions in our nation’s capital, you’ll have additional destinations to pedal to.
The Regrettable Exceptions
These are three of the best cities for riding your bike to an MLB game, but unfortunately, not every park in the majors is quite so accommodating. Anaheim’s Angel Stadium paved paradise to put up a parking lot, devoting about 166 of its 187 acres to surface parking with limited bike accommodations. The Rangers’ new Globe Life Field, amid the suburban sprawl of Dallas-Fort Worth, is another car-centric destination. And Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg’s white elephant, doesn’t make it easy to bike to Rays games—especially in the thick of a Tampa Bay summer. That may just mean getting creative—something avid cyclists can certainly do.