According to Bicycling magazine, Boston has been a "recurring fixture" on periodic lists it has compiled over the last decade on the worst American cities for bicycling.
But in the magazine's 2008 list of best and worst cities for cycling, Boston rates an honorable mention as a potential candidate for a best list in the future.
"Central to Boston's noteworthy move is Mayor Thomas Menino's newfound love of cycling," the magazine said in a press release today. "After getting hooked on his new Trek Lime (bike), Menino hired former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman (right) to serve as Boston's bike coordinator, a position the city had eliminated in 2003. The pair is working on the first significant cycling-friendly development since then: 5-foot-wide bike lanes extending along Commonwealth Avenue."
In compiling lists, Bicycling magazine looks only at biking within city limits and not at the larger bike culture in a metropolitan area, noted executive editor Loren Mooney.
In the past, Mooney said during a phone interview, "Boston has been in the shadow of Cambridge and Somerville when it comes to bike friendliness on the road."
The best cities for bicycling in this year's list are Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boulder, Colo., the magazine said.
And the worst? Dallas, Memphis, and Miami, the magazine said.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)