As a treat to all cycling aficionados and a tribute to the environment, several cities across the world have taken continuous efforts to adapt to cycle-friendly policies. Right from dedicated cycling tracks to cycles available on rent, some cycle-friendly cities in the world have it all!
Be it due to health factors, environmental concerns, government push or sheer fun, cycling has remained our faithful friend since time immemorial. Most of us have, however, been biased towards our four wheelers or the posher two-wheelers (read them as “motorcycles”) and quit cycling the day we got our hands on our driving license! Sophisticated as it may be to sit in a chauffeur-driven swanky car, pedalling hard against a strong wind or fighting the raindrops while cycling is an experience in itself. Priyanka Dalal, a passionate solo cyclist , will certainly vouch for this.
Cycling – A Growing Necessity; No More an Option
Once upon a time, cycling was the most common mode of communication amongst children and adults alike. But now, nations witness an alarmingly increased number of buses, cars, motorcycles and scooters. Amidst all the pomp and show of today’s high-income-earning generation, cycles are seen more in garages and showrooms than on roads. With people running against time to keep pace with their busy schedules, cycling is now a fancy hobby for some.
However, there is good news for all cycling enthusiasts out there. Increased pollution, unmanageable traffic, health hazards due to constant exposure to harmful pollutants, poor eating habits resulting in unnecessary weight gain and innumerable ailments thanks to a sedentary lifestyle, have urged people to go back to their cycling days.
Controlled traffic, low energy consumption, low pollution, less discharge of harmful chemicals from vehicles, rare fatal accidents – does this sound like a snippet from a fairy tale?
Let’s join hands to turn it into a reality.
Get inspired by some of the cycle-friendly cities in the world.
Top Cycle-friendly Cities Across the Globe
Apart from professional cyclists and people who love cycling (although not as a profession), unfortunately, over the years, most of us have lost touch with our humble companion. However, some cycle-friendly cities across the globe have made it a point to maintain their cycle-friendly approach till date.
Copenhagen, one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the world. The Danish capital is definitely famous for its century-old Tivoli Gardens, but more so for its cycle-friendly policies. Maintenance of bicycle bridges, bike ramps, extensive cycling tracks and demarcated cycling lanes show the city’s endeavour to encourage cycling among its residents. Statistics reveal that almost 40% of Copenhagen citizens use cycling as their primary mode of transport. To keep up their cycling habits, the city has ensured the presence of adequate air pumping stations and exclusive traffic indicators.
How about taking a head count of humans versus bicycles and realizing that there are more cycles than people! Bizarre, isn’t it? But this is the true state of affairs in Amsterdam. Whether you want to go to work, drop your child to school, take a tour of the city or just go for a date with your partner, a cycle is all you need. And why not, when the city is so empathetic towards cyclists (800 kilometres of a pre-defined bike path is not a joke!)? Even if you don’t own one, you have an option to hire a cycle and go around places.
There is no doubt that cycle-friendly cities in Europe are way beyond several countries when it comes to their love for cycles (probably the reason why Ruben Arribas cycled 9,500 kilometres there !). But Portland in the US is not far behind. Efforts are persistently being made to encourage more cyclists on the road. Not only has the transportation department developed distinct cycling lanes, but they also rent out bicycles to interested cyclists, offer cycle locks, provide free safety guides and more importantly, they have introduced proper cycling classes for people (which shows their yearning to have more cyclists).
If we were to think of just one Barcelonian subject, more than 90% of us would probably picture Lionel Messi in our minds! But if we were to visit the city and then decide the one thing that we like, certainly a few of us would love Barcelona for its cycle-friendly approach. Tour this beautiful city on a cycle and you’ll know why! The cycle-sharing program in Barcelona is well-appreciated, along with its cycling-related safety regulations and continuous development of cycling lanes.
If you are a first timer in Budapest, you will probably wonder why you should opt for cycling when you have so many other quicker modes of transport in the city. But talk to residents and they’ll tell you how beautifully the cycling tracks have been developed, right in between greenery and water bodies. The city boasts of more than 200 kilometres of established cycling track. If you plan to get a cycle and explore the city, remember to follow the traffic rules as several cycling roads are open to two-wheelers and pedestrians as well.
If you get a chance to ride a bicycle in any of these cycling-focussed hospitable cities, do not think twice. Pick a bicycle, pedal at ease and explore the place. And while you cycle away to glory, do not forget to share your experience with us as we wait to hear from you.