From Boston commuters to Miami cruisers, Brooklyn cobblestones to LA trails, cycling scenes are microcosms of their communities.
Words: Clint Carter
Images: Bob Martus
Set Design: Paul Vlachou
Set Build: Yawn Moon
Fewer than 200 years ago, the bicycle was considered revolutionary. With two wheels, a simple drivetrain, and the occasional downhill boost from gravity, riders from coast to coast could reach speeds unattainable on foot. Early frames were made from wood, but the bicycle rapidly evolved — upgrading to iron and steel, and later, aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber— elevating with every iteration.
Today, America’s bike engineers deploy an arsenal of frame dimensions, gear ratios, and braking technologies to adapt these machines to their native terrains — be it the concrete jungle, rugged hillsides transected by trails, or warped, wooden boardwalks. And this is all done with intricate intent, designed with an eye for beauty as much as for performance.
Conceived and often manufactured in top markets around the country, the models and cycling accessories featured on the following pages represent just that: the intersection of form and function. Celebrating the aesthetic of their respective localities and the distinct topography for which they were produced, these bikes — much like the Compass agents who offer their personal cycling insights alongside — adeptly navigate their way through their cities. Admire their machined elegance and then — take off .
“DC is home to a nice mix of hardcore cyclists on road bikes as well as commuters on comfortable upright models. On a nice day, it’s not unusual to be part of “bicycle jams” at the traffic lights along the R Street or 15th Street bike lanes, where almost everyone has a smile on their face and a helmet on their head.”
Jeanne Harrison | Compass DC
“Evidence of a bike renaissance, Brooklyn’s influx of cycling lanes makes travel between apartment showings and to appointments a literal breeze. For a whirlwind ride, first traverse the Brooklyn Bridge to encounter tree-lined brownstones as far as the eye can see. Then make your way to the verdant Prospect Park, where every sense of city life is left behind.”
Gabriele Sewtz | Compass NYC
“I’ve fully urbanized my 1998 Cannondale 400 for Manhattan’s streets: White Brothers carbon forks, Shimano disc brakes, Panaracer Pasela tires, and a carbon crankshaft. For an otherworldly experience, ride on Saturdays in August, when select Manhattan byways are closed, allowing you to coast up a trafficless Park Avenue, all the way from Union Square Park to Grand Central Terminal.”
Aaron Seawood | Compass NYC
“Over the last decade, Boston has made significant improvements to encourage biking throughout its many neighborhoods. Cycling culture here encompasses everyone from seasoned commuters dashing along the Southwest Corridor to weekend enthusiasts enjoying the Charles River paths.”
Joe Cunningham | Compass Boston
“Miami’s idyllic weather and gorgeous scenery make it a cyclist’s paradise. From Key Biscayne’s Rickenbacker Trail to Coconut Grove’s historic Peacock Park, the city presents limitless routes for locals and visitors alike.”
Claudia Villar | Compass Miami
“In Southern California, bike paths traverse the coastal communities from Manhattan Beach to Santa Monica, offering views of fishermen-dotted piers, volleyball in the sand, and dolphins at play. Further inland, a citrus-infused breeze sweeps through the hills and canyons of Valencia.”
Andrew Rhoda | Compass LA
Meet more of our agent-cyclists and explore their preferred terrain at Compass.com.