Friday, June 3, 2011

Top Bike-Friendly Cities in the World

Have you ever been to a city where one of the main types of transportation was via bike? Many people of all ages around the globe use a bike as their primary source of transportation because it’s cheaper, environmentally-friendly, healthy and easy. When using a road bike it can also be speedier option in many cases.

We’ve compiled a list of cities around the world that have a high bike usage per capita and have a great system in place for urban bikers. These bike-friendly cities strive to keep their biker residents happy and safe.
  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. Copenhagen and its people are a group truly devoted to the bicycle. With a culture that has a third of the population commuting on bike combined with a local government that offers free rentals and dedicated lanes, Copenhagen is our #1 choice as bike-friendly cities.
  3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  4. If the Dutch know how to do one thing, it’s bike. Amsterdam is known world-wide as the ultimate bike capital of the planet. The city features a massive population of bikers of all ages and professions on the road at any time. The Amsterdam city government also promotes bike use with bike rentals, cyclist-only lanes and bike traffic signals.
  5. Basel, Switzerland
  6. Residents of Basel love biking and who can blame them! With countryside of fruit trees and grapevines complimented by elegant shops and buildings along with a health-focused population, it comes as no surprise that around 25% of Basel’s residents travel on 2 wheels. The city promotes bike use with bike lanes, traffic signals and rentals.
  7. Florence, Italy
  8. As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it is no wonder that Florence embraces biking culture. Adding to their bike culture is the huge population of college students that regularly commute to and around campus by bicycle. Florence has separate bike lanes which are bi-directional and colored for ease of use.
  9. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  10. Minneapolis, Minnesota is a town committed to biking. Even in the winter frigidness, a large population of this city commutes by bike. There are a number of facilities for bikers such as indoor storage, city bike lanes, and trails. Unlike many European countries, bicycle helmets are widely used and highly encouraged in the US.
  11. Bologna, Italy
  12. Whether you’re visiting Bologna or are a permanent resident, riding a bike is the easiest and fastest way to get around. Bologna has a network of cycle paths throughout the city. The city also has various routes that have less motorized traffic creating a safe place for bikers.
  13. Munich, German
  14. Even though Munich is a large metropolis, drivers and bikers seem to coexist very well along the busy lanes and streets of this city. Munich has over 124 miles of bike paths and marked off sides to protect bikers. Just remember, bike theft is common here, so be sure to keep you bike locked.
  15. Salzburg, Austria
  16. Salzburg is a great bike-commuting city; with beautiful green landscapes and Baroque architecture, Salzburg is designed with over 105 miles of bike paths and 23 scenic bike routes. Salzburg also has self-service stations throughout the city with free tools, bike stands, lubricating oil and compressed air. There are also 5,500 parking spaces designated just for bikes.
  17. Bogota, Colombia
  18. Bogota is Latin America’s fastest growing bike-centered city. Bogota has its own bike path networks strategically connecting all regions of the city. This system consists of main, secondary and complimentary networks. These efforts are in place to offer residents a cheaper, healthier and more sustainable way of life that seems to be embraced well.
  19. Portland, Oregon
  20. People of Portland have always prized themselves on their consistent use of bicycles to get around. With the natural beauty and the overall tree-hugger culture, it is no surprise so many chose to bike. With separate bike lanes, bike racks and a community that thoroughly supports biking, Portland is a great city to get around on two wheels. If you’re interested in a cheaper, healthier commuting alternative that will help your community, you should grab a cruiser or road bike and start cruising!

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  2. christania’s “rent family bike” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.

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