Get your spokes in a row and discover the world’s best biking cities – because who needs taxis when you can burn rubber and calories simultaneously?
Biking is an excellent way to explore a new city, exercise, and reduce your carbon footprint. Luckily, many cities worldwide are ideal for biking, with extensive bike lanes and paths, bike-sharing programs, and scenic routes.
From the world’s cycling capital, Amsterdam, to the bustling streets of Tokyo, there is a great biking city for every type of cyclist. In this article, we will explore some of the best biking cities in the world and why they are so excellent for biking.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam is often referred to as the cycling capital of the world, and for good reason. It has an extensive network of bike paths and dedicated lanes, making it easy and safe for cyclists to get around. The city also has a flat terrain and a bike-friendly culture, which encourages people to cycle as their primary mode of transportation.
- Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen is another city known for its cycling culture. It has an impressive network of bike paths and cycling lanes, and nearly half of the city’s residents commute to work or school by bike. The city also has a bike-sharing program, which makes it easy for tourists and visitors to explore the city on two wheels.
- Portland, Oregon, USA: Portland is often considered one of the best biking cities in the United States. It has a vast network of bike-friendly streets and bike paths, and scenic routes and trails surround the city. Portland also has a vibrant cycling community and several bike-related events yearly.
- Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo may not be the first city that comes to mind when considering great biking cities, but it has a surprisingly bike-friendly infrastructure. The city has a growing network of cycling lanes and bike parking facilities, and many residents use bikes as their primary mode of transportation. Tokyo also has several scenic bike routes, including the Arakawa River Path and the Tamagawa River Path.
- Montreal, Canada: Montreal is known for its extensive bike path network, covering over 800 kilometers of the city’s streets. The town has a bike-sharing program, BIXI, which makes it easy for tourists and visitors to explore the city on two wheels.Montreal is also home to several bike-related events throughout the year, including the Tour de l’Île and the Montreal Bike Fest.
- Berlin, Germany: Berlin has an extensive network of bike lanes and paths, making it easy and safe for cyclists to get around. The city also has a bike-sharing program and several cycling events throughout the year, including the Berlin Bicycle Week.
- Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona has a growing network of bike lanes and paths, which make it easy for visitors and residents to explore the city on two wheels. The city also has several scenic bike routes, including the Montjuïc Circuit and the Paseo de San Joan.
- Bogotá, Colombia: Bogotá is home to one of the most extensive bike-sharing programs in the world, with over 6,000 bikes available to rent. The city also has an extensive network of bike lanes and paths, which make it easy for cyclists to get around. Bogotá also hosts Ciclovía, a weekly event where over 70 miles of streets are closed to cars, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to take over.
- Strasbourg, France: Strasbourg is home to over 500 kilometers of bike paths and lanes, making it easy for cyclists to get around. The city also has a bike-sharing program, Vélhop, which makes it easy for tourists and visitors to explore the city on two wheels. Strasbourg also hosts the Vélo-City conference, which brings cycling experts and advocates together worldwide.
Did you know?
Interestingly, many of these great biking cities have implemented innovative policies and initiatives to promote biking and improve biking infrastructure. For example, Amsterdam has implemented a “Green Wave” system, where traffic lights are timed to allow cyclists to maintain a steady speed, reducing the need to stop and start.
Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, the city government has set a goal to become carbon-neutral by 2025, and biking plays a crucial role in achieving this goal. These initiatives not only make biking more enjoyable and convenient for residents and visitors, but they also positively impact the environment and overall quality of life in these cities.
A little history:
Biking cities have a long and varied history that spans over a century. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, biking was a popular mode of transportation, and many cities worldwide had bike-friendly infrastructure, including dedicated bike paths and bike racks.
However, with the rise of the automobile in the mid-1900s, biking declined, and many cities shifted their focus to accommodating cars instead.
In the 1970s, biking experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to the environmental movement and growing concerns about air pollution and oil dependence. Cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen embraced this trend, implementing innovative policies and infrastructure to make biking more convenient and safe.
This led to a biking culture that is still strong today, with cycling as a primary mode of transportation for many residents.
In recent years, more destinations worldwide have recognized the benefits of biking cities and have started investing in biking infrastructure and initiatives. This has led to a new generation of biking cities, with dedicated bike lanes, bike-sharing programs, and other amenities to make biking a convenient and enjoyable way to get around.
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized and congested, biking cities are seen as a sustainable and healthy way to move people and goods, and biking cities will continue to play an essential role in shaping the future of transportation.