5 best cities in the world for cycling

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Dal Kikin
November 15, 2018

Photo: iStock/IR_Stone

Nowadays, a rare city dweller lives without a car. However, more and more people make a conscious choice in favor of moving on two wheels. Bicycle is both a sport, and an environmentally friendly mode of transport, and maneuverability in traffic jams. That is why many fall in love with this method of movement. But even if you are not yet ready to constantly change the way you move in everyday life, no one bothers to have a short “holiday romance”. We will tell you where to try it best.

London

Photo: iStock/Cristiano Babini

Until recently, the British capital was not pleased with the comfortable conditions for cyclists. In many city parks, the passage for bicycles is strictly limited, and not everyone is at risk of traveling to busy streets, where they will have to maneuver between double-decker buses. And this is despite the fact that many Londoners prefer to get to work on two wheels. But since the Parliament paid attention to this, construction of special high-speed bicycle routes began on the whole city - two-lane lanes separated from the main roads by a wide curb. They pass along the main roads from the outskirts to the center, allowing you to freely and safely travel from one point of the city to another. And for tourists or those who do not want to worry about safe parking, automatic racks are located throughout London. By paying a relatively small amount with a bank card, you can rent a bike.

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Moreover, this summer there were city bicycles, which do not need special racks. They can easily unlock their wheels using an application on a smartphone after payment, which means you can park them after use anywhere. If the usual bike is too boring for you, then you can learn to ride on an unusual vehicle of the Victorian era. And for people who prefer more complex and scenic routes, there are many tours: as day trips to the outskirts of London, and long. For example, in a week you can get from London to Amsterdam, which has long been considered the world capital of cyclists.

Amsterdam

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Amsterdam is considered to be the kingdom of bicycles: here people of all ages and professions ride them. They say that the number of two-wheeled vehicles in the city is four times the number of cars, and if you count how many city residents travel in one day, you will get a path of two million kilometers. I must say that it was not always. In the 70s in Amsterdam there was a real car boom. The post-war economic situation in the country improved, cars began to gain more and more popularity, and bicycles went to the background. This led to a frightening number of car accidents involving cyclists. Fortunately, the government realized in time all the advantages of cycling.

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Now driving two wheels in Amsterdam is even more natural than driving a car: for many residents, this is the main way of traveling.

Tourists can find a huge number of interesting and beautiful routes. You should definitely ride along the canals: this is the best way to get to know the city. For a day trip, take a trip to the neighboring Waterland region north of Amsterdam. The path will flow through picturesque green fields, and in the region you can find many small towns with old wooden houses.

Berlin

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Berlin is called one of the most convenient cities for cycling. For the comfort of cyclists, everything here is organized with true German precision. The Call a bike system, for example, allows you to use city bicycles by simply calling the number indicated on them or receiving the code through a special application on your smartphone. You can return the bike using the same algorithm anywhere in the city. In order to navigate in an unfamiliar city was easier, there is a special application that will help build a path from one point to another. And for all those who are not interested in aimlessly driving around the city, there is a huge amount of tours. You can take a ride through the main city sights with a guide, or you can go out into the countryside and arrange yourself a test of endurance. If you want something unusual, take a tour of alternative Berlin and get acquainted with its subculture. Who else but a local resident would be the best to tell about an abandoned hospital that turned into a gallery, or a small farm, equipped by the inhabitants of the houses-wagons?

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Portland

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 Portland is considered the most "cycling" city of the United States. Back in 1971, a law was introduced here, obliging to include bicycle lanes in the projects of all the main roads of the city. After 45 years in the whole state of Oregon, including Portland, the percentage of people regularly cycling is higher than in any other state in the USA. In Portland, there is a cafe where bicycle parking is more than tables inside. There are paths leading through forests and hills. And in the city itself, you can drive along the East Coast Esplanade, a pedestrian and bicycle path more than two kilometers long, including the longest floating road in the USA. This is not just convenient, but also provides an opportunity to admire the city landscapes near the water. And those who want to combine physical activity with delicious food, can take a bike tour of the best cafes, restaurants and shops of the city, organized by a local resident.

Copenhagen

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Copenhagen is a city where more than half of residents use a bicycle as their main means of transport. Back in the 40s, due to the shortage of gasoline, their number in Denmark increased dramatically, and since then has only continued to grow. The bike here is considered an environmentally friendly, economical and convenient mode of transport. A tourist on two wheels here will definitely not stand out. The whole city is an excellent example of how you can comfortably fit bikes into the culture and infrastructure of the city.

Photo: iStock/Eric Fehrenbacher

Here, even the traffic lights are arranged so that the green signal for cyclists lights up earlier than for car drivers, allowing them to drive forward, or even move without stopping.

Here you can take a bicycle with you in the subway and train, you only need to buy a separate ticket for it. This opens up new opportunities for those who want to visit places remote from the city. You should definitely go to Amagersky beach or to Drager, the former fishermen village, famous for its quiet streets and buildings, preserved from the XVIII century. If you want to explore the whole country, you can go on a seven-day cycling trip along the coasts of Denmark.

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