It's summer, so now is the perfect time to enjoy a two-wheeled foray into the wild. The US Bicycle Route System has added 18 routes to its network; providing cyclists with a variety of scenic journeys through California, Indiana, Ohio, Utah and Washington — and views that are well worth hitting the brakes for.

The designation of these routes to the national network of cycling routes⁠—otherwise known as the US Bicycle Route System (USBRS)⁠—has moved the country's cycling goals up a few gears. The new inclusions add a total of 2903 miles to the network, bringing the USBRS closer to its goal of creating 50,000 miles of officially recognized, numbered, and signed bicycle routes that link every state in the country. 

Read more: You can hike this incredible Californian trail for the first time in 13 years

Road along the coastline in Marin Headlands
The routes build upon existing routes, off-road paths, lanes, low-traffic roads and trails ©Getty Images

The bike routes connect cities and urban areas with rural towns, countryside and nature trails; making it easier for people to connect with each other and the natural world, and providing a major boost to bike tourism in each state.

"The growth of the system benefits every person who has, is, or will be traveling by bike," said Scott Pankratz, executive director of Adventure Cycling⁠—a nonprofit that provides coordination for the USBRS. "[We] applaud our state department of transportation partners, who understand the role bike travel plays in our national infrastructure, supporting health and wellness, transforming communities, and increasing economic activity across the country."

USBRS Corridor Map
US Bicycle Routes mapped ©USBRS

In California there are two newly designated routes. One takes cyclists from the Arizona border, across the high-desert National Trails Highway on Route 66, and into Los Angeles, winding up at Santa Monica Pier. The other begins at the Oregon border and crosses redwoods, coastal headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. Up in Washington, the route runs into the Snake River Canyon.

Ohio bagged six new US Bicycle Routes that connect the state's major cities, as well as ones that take cyclists to scenic spots like Lake Erie and the North Coast Inland Trail. In Indiana, it's a two-wheeled journey through farmlands, rolling hills and bike-friendly Bloomington. While in Utah, cyclists can travel from Wasatch Front to Salt Lake City.

To date, the USBRS has designated 17,734 miles of routes in 31 states and Washington, DC, and more are on the way⁠—at least 40 states currently developing US Bicycle Routes, building upon existing routes, off-road paths, lanes, low-traffic roads and trails so that cyclists can safely explore the country on two wheels.

Digital maps for all designated US Bicycle Routes are available for free on the Adventure Cycling Association website.

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