Travelers are hungry for becoming intimate with the places they visit. To understand and explore the local topography of any county side requires a mode of transportation that will allow you to absorb yourself in the maze of its surroundings. Bikes can give you the ultimate riding spree to experience every trifling blade of grass swaying and also give you the vision to see minarets perched atop high rising monuments. Bikes are Eco-friendly and their use on a daily bases is being encouraged by governments all across Europe and USA. Check out a few top ranking biking cities of the world.
1. Amsterdam , the Bike City
Bikes hold 40% of the traffic share in the city of Amsterdam. The bicycle transport infrastructure has been carefully planned, to accommodate the desired type of biking lanes and traffic signals. Numerous bike sheds have been built across the city, the largest being the Amsterdam Bike Ramp at the Central Railway Station , that has parking space for more than 7000 bikes. Train commuters can reliably park their bicycles here and leave to embark their train journey. A theft-prevention and road-safety program has been put in place for the convenience of the bikers.
2. Portland Bike Network
Portland is making all efforts to encourage and promote a strong bicycle culture. It plans to further expand the bicycle network. Portland’s create-a-commuter initiative, is the first of its kind to be implemented in USA. Under this plan, low-income adults will be provided with a bike that will come with built in lights, a helmet, lock, maps and even rainwear. A special session on commuter safety will also be organized for these bikers.
Copenhagen, Denmark has also been designated as the city of bikes. According to the Forbes Magazine, it is amongst the top 10 in Europe to travel to and reside. The annual budget for the improvement of bicycle infrastructure ranges between $10 to $20 million. 32% of the workforce uses bikes for daily commuting. The city has separate lanes for bicycles with its own signal system. The car parking charges in the city are $5 for one hour, therefore, bikes is the best alternative. Public bikes are available in abundance in the downtown area.
4. Boulder, Colorado
15% of the total budget allocated to transport in spent to develop and improve the bicycle lanes and traffic in Boulder, Colorado. Underpasses with online bike mapping are being constructed across the place to further help the bikers commute easily. The pilot program, Boulder Safe Routes to School marked an increase of 620% in the number of school kids using bikes for going to school.
5. Sandnes, Norway
Sandnes is known as the best place for biking in Norway. The government started a pilot in 1990, which would last for 4 years. The pilot had two purposes, one encourage more people to use bikes and to make the town bike friendly. The pilot was successful and in 1996 a public bike system was started.
6. Trondheim, Norway
Trondheim is famous for the Bicycle Lift or Bicycle Tramp, system that has been developed to help bikers easily climb uphill, using lifts. Inspired by the ski lift technology, the bicycle tramp has become a popular tourist’s hub. 18% of the population of Trondheim uses bicycles as their daily mode of transportation.
7. San Francisco, California
The Bicycling Magazine ranks San Francisco among the top few cities best for bicycling. The city has 63 miles of bicycle lanes and about 40,000 people commute daily using bikes. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors looks after the cycling needs of the people and undertakes all developmental functions.
8. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is the largest city in Germany and the most populous in the European Union. The city has 390 miles of bike paths, 120 miles of off-road route, 50 miles of the stretch share lanes with buses, 40 miles with roads and 60 miles with pedestrian paths. 50,000 people use bikes for daily transportation every day.
9. Barcelona, Spain
In 2007, the Bicing Service was started in Barcelona. This is a public service under which there are 100 stations around the city and you hire the bike from one station and leave it at any other station. To improve the cycling route and paths network in the city all efforts are being made. A green ring that circles the metropolitan area has been created with 3, 250 parking areas and many underground parking plans are underway.
10. Basel, Switzerland
Basel is known for its dazzling country side with lush green field and grapevines lining almost all roads. It is the perfect place for a bike trip. The city is marked with many bicycle lanes and bike traffic systems with a left hand turning for bikers. Rent-a-bike allows commuters to hire bikes from underground bike parks. Specific bike trails connect the city with all other parts of the country.