Kulvir Singh Virk travels the world in his role as a freelance architect and is fond of hiring a bike to explore cities wherever possible.
Visitors can hire a bike in most major cities worldwide, although some go a lot further than others in terms of making make exploring by bicycle easy, convenient and fun, with spacious bike lanes running parallel to roads, city bike networks and cycling tours presenting a fantastic opportunity to mingle with fellow cyclists from all walks of life and parts of the world.
Cycling offer tourists the opportunity to lower their carbon footprint while simultaneously cutting their travel costs – enabling them to get back to nature and boosting both physical and emotional health. From Spain to Japan, this article will look at some of the world’s best biking cities.
Barcelona – Spain
The urban core of this stunning, design-centric city is surprisingly bike friendly. Starting at Plaça Catalunya and cycling for just 5.6 miles, visitors can see several of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks, including Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló. Finding a bike in Barcelona is a synch, with both regular and electric ‘Bicing’ bikes available from one of the many docking stations across the city.
Bogotá – Columbia
The cycle paths of Bogotá are separated into ‘ciclorrutas’ or lanes that stretch for hundreds of miles collectively through the city, connecting residential areas to centres of commerce. The city’s Complementary Network follows the city’s riverbanks, showcasing green spaces. Sunday presents the optimum opportunity to cycle in the city, as since the 1970s this day has been completely car-free.
Paris – France
Travelling by bicycle is a great way to experience the Parisian sights and sounds while avoiding the traffic. Here, cyclists can make their way towards the Eiffel Tower along the banks of the Seine. Alternatively, pedal across the river to the right bank for a spot of shopping on the Champs-Élysées. In Paris, half the fun is cycling alongside Parisians, who use the French capital’s cycling system to bypass delayed trains and traffic.
Tokyo – Japan
Home to more than nine million people, the streets of this megacity are surprisingly quiet and safe to cycle around. Although the extensive train system is the go-to mode of transport in Tokyo, it provides none of the sights, sounds and smells gained by pedalling through the city streets. Visitors can ride down to the waterfront, cruising along the Sumida River, which empties into Tokyo Bay. Community Cycle, the city’s bike-share scheme, costs around $1.50 for the first 30 minutes, then $1 for each additional 30 minutes.