Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When counting down the world’s most bike-friendly cities, where else but Amsterdam could take the top spot? With more bikes than people, the city is structured with cyclists in mind. Low speed limits in the centre curb the impact of the four-wheeled menace, while bike racks on public transport make it easy to take a load off if the saddle gets to be too much. Rental shops are ubiquitous, the terrain is famously flat, and an online bike-specific route planner makes it especially easy for non-locals to get around. Further afield, a countryside of tulip fields and windmills lies within a 30-minute ride from the city centre. It’s no wonder almost half of Amsterdammers commute on two wheels.
Not riding a bike in Copenhagen is like not riding the trains in India – you’re missing out on a quintessential part of the experience. It’s just a nice bonus that riding a bike is the most convenient way to wander around Copenhagen’s best attractions. Bike lanes abound, as do bike lane-specific traffic signalling.
If there’s one city in North America built for bicycles, it’s Montreal. However, it’s only been in the past decade that the city has exploited its compact size for the benefit of the cyclist, installing hundreds of kilometres of bike lanes around the city, many segregated from traffic. Coupled with a thriving bike culture and scenic routes around and to its most famous parks, the city makes hopping on a bike an easy decision. And if you don’t already have one, Montreal is home to Bixi, the public bike share company that has exported its modular bike share system technology around the world.