We all know the famous cycling cities. In Amsterdam bike riders rule the roads, and in Copenhagen they literally have tilted bins to accommodate the cyclists. Titled bins people. Tilted bins.
But while those cities may be cycle mad, does that stand true for the rest of the country surrounding them? Are these the nations that per capita get on their bikes more than anyone else in the world?
Well, that’s a good question. So we took to the interwebs in order to find out, hoping that by some bizarre malfunction we might find out that the UK was actually more cycle-friendly than we thought.
What our results did end up telling us was not altogether surprising, though there are a few that you’ll be interested to see in the list, and a few that may shock you in absence...
Given how many people are actually in China, it may be a surprise to some to see them on this list, given that it is per capita.
Nevertheless, they do indeed enjoy a good cycle. Not all, err, 1.357 billion of them of course – IMAGINE the carnage if someone fell off their bike in the middle of that peloton – but there is over 500 million bikes in action there, which kind of makes it... heaven?
Well you’ve got to get your frites somehow. Seriously though, it should be no surprise that the Belgians are into their cycling. They’ve got a wonderful landscape for it.
They only have a population of around 11 million – meaning China has almost fifty times as many bikes as Belgium has people – but nearly half of those people have bikes that they regularly use.
Chocolates, watches, chocolate watches, watch-shaped chocolates. There are some things that people associate with Switzerland the second they hear the name of the country.
Of course, the other side to the place is the ultimate gnarly mountains, the badass skiing, the mountain biking, the beautiful scenery, and yes, the people of Switzerland do love a good cycle... ever so slightly more than those in Belgium.
They’re more known for their powder days than their cycling habits in Japan these days, but with over 125 million people there and over 70 million bikes, they sure as hell aren’t unfamiliar to a good old two wheeler.
More than 10 million bikes are sold a year, and over 15 percent of trips to work on made on bikes.
Apparently almost 10 percent of ALL journeys in Finland are made on bike. Which is a lot. Like, a whole lot.
To put that into perspective, 100 percent more journeys are being made by bike in Finland than are being made on bike by that annoying neighbour you’ve got who keeps yelling about pavements and calling you a ‘lycra wanker’ from the leather-coated seat of his [insert expensive car name here].
Norway isn’t huge, with a population around 5 million, but over 60 percent of people in the country are cyclists. We’re basing this purely on the prices of beer we’ve experienced in Oslo, but our guess is that perhaps this cuts down on the time needed to escape the restaurants after discovering it’s 20 euro a pint.
Scandinavian countries seem to pop up a lot in this list, don’t they? Well, Sweden is no different. 9.5 million people, over 60 percent of whom are cyclists also. It still doesn’t top the Scandinavian polls of course, but we’ll get to that later...
There’s a lot more respect for cyclist on the road of Germany than there is in the UK, because once again, a lot more of the car owners also ride bikes. Out of the 80.6m who live in the country, around 75% own and make regular use of a bicycle.
Denmark may not have the most bikes in the world per capita, but the capital Copenhagen was named the most bike-friendly city on the globe for 2015, overtaking Amsterdam.
"TILTED F?$%&!NG BINS!"
The city has an unrivalled network of designs made specifically for bicycles, and with further infrastructure including two new cycling bridges opening, it’s managed to claim the coveted top position.
Denmark has a population of around 5.61m, with approximately 4.5m, or around 80 percent, owning a bike.
1) The United Kingdom
LOL jk. Everyone who isn’t a cyclist in the UK hates everyone who is, and everyone who is a cyclist is subsequently left incredibly frustrated by this fact.
About 8% of the British population cycles three or more times a week though, which let's be honest, isn't bad. We're getting there.
Actual 1) The Netherlands, Obviously
It’s no surprise to see the land of clogs and tulips at the top, or rather bottom, of this list. The Netherlands has actually had more bikes per capita than any other European country since way back in 1911, which is like, y’know, ages ago.
Around 99% of the 16.8m population of the country are cyclists. Mad, right? Statistics from a few years ago also showed that 27% of all trips in the Netherlands are said to be made on bike and a quarter of all trips to work – we’re betting they don’t have to put up with drivers telling them to “get back on the pavements"!