Cycling in the City
It might not be an obvious choice, but bikes are often a perfect mode of transport when taking a city break.
It means travellers who've picked a hotel near to the action don't need to negotiate the bus system, spend a small fortune on short taxi rides, nor tire themselves out walking the entire time.
It helps that government-funded bike schemes are popping up in many destinations, cities are investing more in safer cycling systems and that plenty of hotels offer bike rentals. And these changes are reflected in Copenhagenize Design Company's bike index: for the fifth year running they've totted up the figures, pros and cons for the main cities across the world, and produced a top 20 list of cycling-friendly cities.
To help get the wheels in motion for your next holiday, the
Flexicover team team has picked out the most popular destinations on their list for a two wheeled adventure, so you know you're in for a smooth ride.
If you've seen the swarms of bikes in Denmark's capital, you won't be surprised that Copenhagen is officially the world's best cycling city. A staggering 45% of Copenhagers use bikes as their main form of transport, leaving cars for dust. As such, cyclists come first when it comes to the rules of the road. There are separate lanes, bicycle bridges and cross-town routes that make it the obvious choice for both locals and visitors, with investment pumped into upgrades all the time.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The maze of canal routes and one-way traffic means that Amsterdam is just as car unfriendly as it is cycling-friendly. That may explain why there are over 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam - for those counting, that's more bikes than people. With a bike rental scheme and a whole cycle network dedicated to making sure cyclists travel safely and enjoyably, it's no wonder Amsterdam is the world's second best cycling city.
You'd imagine that living in France's signature wine country would make cyclists a little wobbly - but it's emerged as one of France's best areas to get your pedal on. In recent years it's literally paved the way for bikes to become mainstream - great news for tourists as the city is the perfect size for cycling around to see the sights, like the gorgeous riverfront and the Palais de la Bourse. With new trams too, many locals leave their cars at home, allowing cyclists to come out in full force. Add in their bike share scheme, VCub, and you have a cycling city that's magnifique.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The capital of Argentina wouldn't be an obvious contender for being a benchmark cycling city, but of late it's revamped its centre to become the most bike-friendliest place in South America. In the past three years alone, over 140km of bicycle infrastructure has been implemented - much of it protected - along with a bike share programme. The end result is that backpackers on a budget will have minimal transport costs - all the more to spend on Argentinian steak.
Being the most European place on the other side of the Atlantic, it's no wonder that Montreal in Canada is the cycling leader in the otherwise car-friendly North America. Its progressive thinking dates all the way back to the 1980s, when it created hundreds of kilometres of bike lanes, paths and trails, and transformed its downtown area to aid bikers. More recently, it introduced a self-serve rental system with 5,000 Bixi bikes, so visitors to Québec's Metropolis will never be far from a ride.
So if we've inspired you to try a bit of pedal power just remember that Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.