Published October 4, 2010
More and more people are realising that bicycles can be much more useful than cars. A bicycle is cheaper to operate and in a city, considering the traffic jam, can at times be faster than a car. Bikes are not only ecological-friendly but also keep their owners in good health. Bicycles are often a favourite means of transport for travellers exploring their destination. This is why several cities, such as Vienna (Austria) or London (Britain), have decided to provide rent-a-bike services, where one rents a bike and then returns it in another part of the city. The following are the top five bicycle-friendly cities, according to Askmen.com.
1/ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Like Denmark, the Netherlands is a very flat country, which makes it an ideal destination for cycling, even for those who are not that much trained. Nearly 40% of all commuters in the city travel on bike. Locals as well as tourists can also rent a public bike for a reasonable price. Many visitors thus opt for bicycles when sight-seeing and exploring the city’s canals, parks and museums.
2/ Copenhagen, Denmark
The landscape of Denmark is quite flat, which makes it easy for the locals as well as visitors to use bikes for travelling to work or for pleasure. According to statistics, 32% of all Copenhageners ride a bike to work on regular basis. The city has repeatedly been recognised as one of the communities with the best quality of life and is also viewed as one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities. No wonder that the local town hall offers the visitors rental bikes for free.
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3/ Bogota, Colombia
Only 13% of all inhabitants in Bogota own cars so the city does not need any special campaign to support the bike traffic as is the case in the U.S.A and Europe. Riding a bike is a matter of need there. It is no wonder that Bogota has become a bicycle-friendly city.
4/ Curitiba, Brazil
Curitiba in Brazil is considered to be one of the best planned cities in the world. According to the American magazine, Reader’s Digest, it is also the best place to live in Brazil. Brazilians have made a commitment to eco-friendly fuels and alternative transportation methods and in 2010 the city was awarded the Globe Sustainable City Award. The bike infrastructure is very good in Curitiba and bicycles are thus quite popular among the local community.
5/ Montreal, Canada
Montreal has recently invested US$134 million to revamp and establish new biking trails. Part of the plan was also expanding the number of bicycle-friendly lock points. Currently, there are 2,400 miles of bicycle trails available to the locals as well as tourists. Montreal also has the first urban bike share infrastructure in North America. It is called Bixi bike sharing programme and provides more than 5,000 bicycles and 400 stations.