Choosing a bike over other modes of transport has many benefits: it's considerably better for our planet by reducing our carbon footprint and it's better for own personal health and wellbeing too. These cities from around the world are among the best for promoting this greener way of travel amidst both residents and tourists.
It probably won't come as a surprise to anyone that Copenhagen makes it on top for the most bike-friendly city around the world. A whopping 62% of residents commute to work and school by bike, resulting in an eye-watering 894,000 miles travelled every day on two wheels. From 2016, bikes now completely outnumber cars here. Hundreds of miles of innovative cycling highways and bridges have been constructed in the city, even connecting Copenhagen to the neighbouring town of Albertslund, for bike users to use and enjoy daily. For visitors, the Bycyklen (the City Bike) is the easiest and best way to see life in the historic city. Hop on and take a ride through the heart of the city and hunt for its famed rows of colourful, rainbow houses, or circle the harbour on its dedicated cycle route and take in the sights and smells of a working port.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is a city best experienced by bike. With over 800,000 bicycles scattered throughout the city, there are now more bikes than people here with around 73% of the population owning at least one. The relatively flat streets mean that its perfect for exploring on two wheels: admire the capital city's beautiful architecture and postcard perfect streets from the saddle. With an influx of inhabitants and visitors every year to this picturesque city, Amsterdam has ambitious plans to further improve existing bicycle infrastructure and parking in the city to keep up with demand. These plans will hopefully be completed in 2022 for the city's cyclists to benefit from.
The beautiful city of Strasbourg has long been considered France's best bicycle city with Paris, Nantes and Bordeaux now following in its footsteps to optimise their respective urban cycling networks. Current bicycle strategies in the city includes encouraging new riders, promoting the use of cargo bikes, and expanding and modernising the city's current cycle highway so as to double the number of overall cyclists by 2025. Strasbourg is perfect for exploring by bike too if you're visiting. It's a multicultural city and boasts an exceptional amount of architectural history and with Velhop, the city's very own bike rental service, you can tour and experience the heritage of the city yourself!
In one of the world's largest and busiest metropolises, millions and millions of people are choosing to hop on a bike instead. Although the figures show that only 14% of Tokyo's population of commuters cycle, this is nonetheless extremely impressive considering the overall number of people that manage to squeeze themselves into the city. Japan is also renowned for its sturdy Mamachari utility bikes that can ferry their groceries, children and themselves safely around the city. Divided sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes also welcome both citizens and visitors to cycle instead. Great cycling tours are also available if you're looking for a new and fun way to see the bustling city.
Despite America lagging behind in terms of biking innovation compared to some European cities, Portland in Oregon is starting to make headways in the way it promotes cycling. A public bike rental system has been created that repurposes pre-existing bike corrals, cutting down on the use of unnecessary kiosks and making it one of the greenest bike systems currently in the world. Hire one for yourself and admire the city's beautiful skyline whilst pedalling along one of the city's many dedicated bike paths. Miles of protected bike lanes snake across the city meaning that it is as easy and simple as ever to travel by bike. Bike riding and cycling etiquette lessons are also on offer for the less experienced and confident riders.