On your bike! Cycling culture around the world
From recreation to transportation
Bicycles were introduced in the late 19th century in Europe. Today, more than 1 billion cycles are used by people around the world for work, sport, and recreation purposes. For anyone who has traveled to major European cities such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen, pedestrians quickly learn to look both ways for bikes rather than cars. However in other areas of the world, biking is just considered a form of exercise or a pastime for neighborhood children. But as traffic and pollution congest our major cities, perhaps it's time to adopt a two-wheeled commute?
Mikael Colville-Andersen is the founder of Copenheganize, a design firm that creates biking infrastructure in urban areas. He believes the move towards more eco-friendly transit will make our cities more equitable, healthy, efficient, and clean, according to Fast Company. Colville-Andersen urges people to see that bike transportation is not a thing of the past.“We live in an age of tech and over-complication, where we like to look to things we haven’t invented yet as solutions,” he said. But in doing so, “a lot of really good, already existing ideas get swept under the rug.”
In addition to changing the cycle of harmful emissions and rising gas prices, biking will positively impact the individual more than anything. “It’s incredibly important for our survival for people to be able to choose an active mobility form,” Colville-Andersen said. Next time you are at the gas station or stuffed into a packed bus like a sardine, think about the humble bicycle as a free, environmental, and health-conscious alternative to your car.
Browse this gallery and wheel your way around the world to get inspired by these amazing photographs of cyclists and their bikes.