Cycling in the world’s greatest cities

London’s Cycle Hire bikes are seeing significant popularity, with now more than 8.6 million trips made on the ‘Boris Bikes’ since the scheme opened one year ago.

The number of bikes means that they’re near ubiquitous – with 6,000 bikes available through 400 docking stations around central London, according to smh.com.au. Their popularity is due to a number of reasons, with the most common citing hiring the bikes for travel to and from work, with most trips less than 30 minutes in duration.

And the £400 million spent on refashioning London as a cycling city seems to have paid off, with Four of 12 so-called cycle superhighways —linking outer London to central London— already constructed, and hundreds of miles of on- and off-road (Copenhagen-style) bike lanes being added to current road infrastructure.

With no compulsory helmet laws, the uptake has been swift. Despite this, there is yet to be a single cyclist killed on London roads in the past year. London is still a long way from being a ‘cycling city’ of the magnitude of Copenhagen, but with more off-road cycle lanes, more education, and less cyclists breaking the law, the uptake looks set to continue.

The SMH has also recently reported on the joys of Paris’ Velib bicycle system, which you can view here. Do any of our readers have any good experience of cycling in any other cities? We’ve written a lot about New York of late but we would be interested to know of any first-hand experiences from our wider groups. 

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