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The Traveller's Magazine
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Lusting after a bike ride now that winter has hit like a punch in the face? Us too… but don’t worry. Plan a trip to any of these bike-friendly cities for spring to get your mood up and before you know it the snow will be gone and the wind will be back in your hair.

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More flexible, more economic and better for you

The reasons why so many have chosen to commute and travel by bike are easy. First off, you have more freedom over where you go, not to mention being able to reach secluded places that aren’t serviced by public transport. Two-wheeled travellers know that cities like London still have a long way to go before being classed as “bike-friendly” but we’re on our way. If you’re after a city break to a destination that welcomes cyclists to the streets, you’re in luck.

[see]Best bike routes in Britain[/see]

bike

We don’t hold up traffic, we are the traffic!

Münster

Let’s start on Germany’s western side in Westphalia. Everyone from shopkeepers to police officers get around this city by bike. It’s a way of thinking, a way of living here that means that most will get around by bike over car in the city centre. Going on a bike ride together is also their way to socialise.

Amsterdam

The undisputed Queen of European cities in the saddles is Amsterdam. It’s no surprise that the Dutch capital have more than 400km worth of cycle paths. Another bonus is that the city centre is flat, except for the bridges that is but it’s good to give a little push every once in a while.

amsterdam

Bruges

The cobble-stone streets of Bruges are not entirely welcoming for cyclists but this is a small detail is overlooked by the city’s stunning medieval architecture. The beautiful Flemish city has a vast and impressive network of cycle lanes that are perfect for visitors looking to explore the city’s canals and charming streets. Just remember, the old town is best explored on foot, not bike.

Copenhagen

Cycling in the Danish capital is just part of everyday life here. If you want to know how to be fashion conscious while riding a bike, just head to Denmark. The city is home to the best-dressed cyclists we’ve ever seen. No sign of Lycra for miles… Get this, 55% of Copenhagen’s residents use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation. For visitors, there’s nothing more lovely than a bike ride around the city centre.

copenhagen-style

Reykjavik

Icelanders love to cycle so it’s no wonder why there is so little traffic in the capital. If you plan to rent a bike during your holiday in Iceland just make sure you bring warm clothes to layer, even in summer the temperatures are relatively cool. Don’t forget to also pack your thermos to fill with hot coffee!

General tips

  • Beware of traffic, and that you’ll have to cycle on the right-hand side of the road outside of Britain.
  • Red light? That goes for cyclists too so STOP.
  • Want to meet other cyclists while travelling? Check out when the next Critical Mass even is taking place.

Which cities have you cycled in? Which cities would you recommend to others?

Imgs: james dmacsurak, schuilr / Flickr cc.

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