European ranking for cycling for all
The European continent boasts many strong cycling nations that have produced some of the world’s great cycling heroes. But which country scores best when it comes to cycle tourism, cycling to work, or safety of bike users?
The European Cyclists’ Federation – which represents the interests of the millions of daily cyclists across the continent – has crunched the numbers.
Each of Europe’s countries has been ranked for 5 different factors, including the number of people using bikes as a proportion of all trips made, the relative safety of cyclists, the number of cycle tourism trips made, and the proportion of the population who are members of cycling organisations.
Unsurprisingly, the two cycling superpowers, the Netherlands and Denmark come top in the ranking, scoring strongly in all categories. The top-ten table is dominated by northern and western European countries, with the exception of Hungary, at number 8, which has high levels of every-day cycling and cycle tourism.
- The Netherlands scores highest for bike usage, with 36% of the population claiming that the bike is their main mode of daily transport, compared with 23% in Denmark.
- Finns are the biggest cycle tourists, making on average more than 20 trips per person, with Swedes the next highest with just under 15 trips per person.
- Slovenians purchased the most new bikes per person: almost 120 bikes per 1000 people. The Lithuanians come next with one in ten buying a new bike.
Another ranking of cycle friendly cities – from the Copenhagenize Design Company – declared 2011 UCI Road World Championships host (and Danish capital) Copenhagen first, while three Dutch cities were in the top 5. The French cities of Strasbourg, Nantes and Bordeaux all made the top 10.
Meanwhile, in the United States, a similar ranking found that Washington state scored highest of all 50 states, repeating its top placing from 2014, thanks to high scores in education and encouragement of cycling. Fellow West Coast states Oregon (6th) and California (8th) also did well. Virginia, whose capital Richmond will host the 2015 Road World Championships, showed excellent improvement, rising from 18th position in 2014 to 13th this year.
Stories of what works to increase cycling, grow the tourism and bike sales market and how to build good cycling infrastructure will be shared at the world’s biggest bicycle campaigning event, Velo-City, in the French city of Nantes at the start of June. Organised by the European Cyclists’ Federation and the City of Nantes, the event brings together over a thousand city representatives and campaigners.
UCI will be attending, with Director General Martin Gibbs speaking alongside other sports administrators including Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme on June 4 to explain how the sport of cycling is contributing to cycling for all. Nantes has implemented a bicycle plan that has resulted in cycling levels doubling between 2008 and 2012, with over 1000 bikes available for hire, almost 500km of cycle tracks and innovative laws to make cycling safer.