This week is when more office workers and commuters are encouraged to get on their bikes as part of Cycle to Work Day. The national event, on September 13, is promoted by Cyclescheme UK and calls for people to pledge to cycle to the office.
There are many benefits to cycling, especially if you make it part of your daily routine. You can see Macs Adventure's staff on their cycle to work by clicking on the video below and also see our blog post on the 9 reasons to cycle to work.
The world’s best cycle friendly cities
Perhaps you are lucky enough to live in one of the cities that are highly rated as cycle friendly. If so, your commute will be a great deal happier and easier than people who have to battle with other traffic and difficult drivers.
Or perhaps you are thinking about your next cycling holiday and wondering where to go for a great experience. It could be that you would like to add a great city break to a walking holiday, too, and where better than a city that takes active people seriously?
[caption id="attachment_24439" align="aligncenter" width="850"] The Copenhagenize Bicycle-friendly Cities Index reveals the top 20 cities for 2017.[/caption]
If so, you should take a look at the Copenhagenize Bicycle-friendly Cities Index. Every year, the urban design consultancy based in Copenhagen, Barcelona, Brussels and Montreal rates cities worldwide for their bicycle friendliness.
They look at factors such as landscape, infrastructure, planning and urban design.
Top 5 cycle-friendly cities
1 Copenhagen, Denmark
[caption id="attachment_24440" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Cycling is a popular pursuit in Copenhagen. Pic credit: Grey Geezer.[/caption]
The Danish capital retains the title as the number one Bicycle Friendly City in 2017. Copenhagen is very serious about its cyclists and has invested more than €134 million over the last decade in bicycle infrastructure and facilities. As an example, there are 16 new bridges for cyclists (and pedestrians) that have been built recently.
Why not start a cycling holiday in Copenhagen, continuing along the coast of Denmark’s largest island Zealand to reach Sweden’s south coast on a quick ferry between the two Scandinavian neighbours?
2 Utrecht, Netherlands
[caption id="attachment_24436" align="aligncenter" width="100%"] Utrecht is a cycle friendly city, too.[/caption]
Like Amsterdam, Utrecht is a Dutch city that is very keen to make the streets safe for cyclists. They have also made some big investments, including a uniquely designed Dafne Schippersbrug bridge.
Utrecht has plans to build 33,000 parking places for bikes at the Central Station by 2020 because the current 12,000 spots are not deemed to be enough.
“Bicycle streets” are standard in many Dutch cities, but Utrecht boasts the longest in the country at 6km and has plans for more.
A Macs Adventure Heart of Holland cycling holiday begins in Amsterdam before heading to the elegant city of Haarlem and then south through flower-filled fields to Keukenhof and on to the university town of Leiden. Delft, famous for its blue and white Delftware, is next before reaching Gouda and back to Amsterdam via Utrecht.
3 Amsterdam, Netherlands
[caption id="attachment_24438" align="aligncenter" width="1500"] Cycling is superb in Holland.[/caption]
Amsterdam is renowned as a fantastic city of cycling and sits in this year’s Index at number three. It scores highly but needs to be seen to be adding more cycle friendly assets to regain its top spot of previous years, according to those who compile the Index. It's still a superb city to cycle in and you could start a Bike & Boat trip to Bruges from Amsterdam (or vice versa).
4 Strasbourg, France
[caption id="attachment_24435" align="aligncenter" width="1500"] Cycle between cities in the Alsace area.[/caption]
For decades, Strasbourg has been France’s premier bicycle city. Now other French cities are following suit, such as Paris, Bordeaux and Nantes. Strasbourg’s Velhop system has taken bike share to the next level and it’s a city with many public bikes as a result.
Cycling through the Heart of Alsace takes you to Colmar, Strasbourg and Kayserberg.
5 Malmö, Sweden
[caption id="attachment_24515" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Cycling in Malmo, Sweden[/caption]
At number five is Malmö, which has opened Cykelhuset (The Bicycle House). This is a development designed to allow residents to live car-free and to accommodate bicycles and cargo bikes throughout the entire building.
Next door, the Bicycle Hotel provides modern travellers with accommodation in a bicycle-friendly city.
6 to 10: Cycle friendly cities include
If you are looking for more ideas, how about the next five top cities for cycling? At six is Bordeaux in France, then Antwerp in Belgium, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Tokyo in Japan and another favourite city, Berlin in Germany, is at number 10.
Were you cycling to work on September 13?