5 Keys To The Perfect Cycling City

5 Keys To The Perfect Cycling City


(smooth jazz music) – [Narrator] The Danish
capital of Copenhagen is widely regarded as the
best city in the world for getting around by bike. 63% of its citizens use pedal power to get to work or school. But why is cycling so popular here? And what can other cities
learn from Copenhagen? Coming up are five reasons that make this city a cycling utopia. (smooth jazz music) Build it and they will come. No, this doesn’t just apply
to baseball playing ghosts. This is also true when it
comes to developing a city that’s attractive to cyclists. Bike lanes are just the start of it. When you look at the likes of
Copenhagen, it’s structured so that cycling is clearly
the easiest way to get around. Of course, infrastructure takes money, as well as long-term plan. Although it certainly isn’t cheap, the city’s municipal council thinks it’s worth it in the long run. They estimate that every
kilometer cycled in the city has a net gain to society of
just over one Danish krone. That’s quite substantial
when you consider cyclists in Copenhagen rack up over
1.2 million kilometers every single day. When you look a little
closer at the cyclists on the streets of Copenhagen,
you realise that it’s not just standard town bikes rolling by. In fact, utility bikes serve a number of functions in the city. Postal workers, street sweepers,
police, and taxi drivers all use customised bikes
to get their work done. And cycling is used as a mode
of transport 365 days a year. Snow rarely stops the hardy Copenhagen biker from getting around. A reliable and affordable
bike share system is a great way for casual riders
and tourists to get around. In fact, because there
are so many people already riding bikes in Copenhagen,
the Bycyklen e-bike scheme is perhaps not as popular among citizens as you might expect. With that said, though,
nearly one million trips were made using the service in 2016. Bikes can take you a long
way, but especially for people commuting in from outside city borders, cycling often has to be combined with other modes of transport
to complete the journey. Fortunately, Copenhagen
has got things covered. Up to 46 bicycles can be
loaded onto their S-trains, free of charge, while
bikes can also be admitted on buses and ferries. How easy is it to get
around by bike in your city? And what can be done to
get more people on bikes? Let us know your thoughts in
the comment section down below. As always, we’d love it if
you clicked on the GCN globe, which is on the screen now. You’ll be the first to
see new videos from us, and it’s completely free. For more videos, why not check out the Top 10 Most Cycling Friendly Cities? We’ve also got a guide to
riding in the city, right here.

100 Comments on “5 Keys To The Perfect Cycling City”

  1. well, I live in Charleston SC, Bicycling magazine's #1 worst city for cycling. A lot can be done, but a good start would be to bridge the ashley river with a dedicated bike and pedestrain lane. We are geographially isolated by water, but so is Copenhagen.

  2. Pittsburgh, PA, at least put a bike path that leads nearly directly through the middle of it (good intentions). Fort Lauderdale, FL,… My only guess is that as unsafe as it seems, when the commuter rail line was designed, it should have had a substantial bike path built right alongside it.

  3. number 1 is strict liability for motorists instead of viewing negligent driving as an "accident". number 2 is decades of improvement and infrastructure development.

  4. Dublin has a good bike sharing scheme but it struggles for funding to expand it. We have narrow streets so the defcon1 choice is public transport/taxi/bike streets as there is little room for bike lanes. That takes guts to implement in the face of rate paying retail who fear loss of business and pay towards the cost of running a city. dedicated bike lanes and not just painted on bits of the road are the only route to bike use. When its quicker to ride than take the car/taxi and commuters choose cycling then bike usership rises

  5. I'm pretty lucky, LAB has Fort Collins pinned as one of the few platinum rated cities in the US. however, the social standard of having you own big house and a yard made everything spread out, so many people don't see bikes
    as viable, plus they couldn't do all the things they cram in their day on a bike, god forbid they simplified their lives.

  6. What's the best way to promote my justgiving page to raise money for me taking part in the London 100 this year? https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Toby-Whitaker

  7. Cycling here in Cologne is nothing compared to Copenhagen.
    I think the biggest problem besides bicycle path/infrastructure is theft. Without theft everyone would spent much more money for bikes, because the riding with better bikes will be much more enjoyable, smooth etc. Also investing in equipment like good mushguards could inspire people to ride even on rainy days. A city where u dont need to carry two big D-Lock all the time, would be AWESOME

  8. I'm still too busy suffering the daily verbal abuse, avoiding close passes and regularly being told to pay 'road tax'. who can even stop to think about infrastructure with all that going on?

  9. Cycling in Australia… A story of pedestrians keeping right, purposely moving to obstruct you, taking up a 2-5 meter ride path in a single group or family, even on dedicated cycle paths.

  10. Here in sydney rd is shit for cars and hell for bikes. Bike path often go in and out of busy traffic and some drivers have zero understanding for bikers.

  11. Warsaw – one of the worst cities in Poland to comute by bike. Why? We have too many idiots in government, to many idiots in city council, toooo many idiots on road 🙁 sad but real. How to get it right? I dont know. #Hopeless

  12. 7 Chinese here, they think sports are not profitable, they spend investments on museums no one willing to go, they steal sharing bikes 🙁

  13. The US is so large that there are no cohesive bike infrastructures. it varies from town to town, city to city. Basically most places you take your life in your hands and it's a crap shoot so a lot of cyclists use walkways because people park cats in the painted on bike lanes.

  14. I'm lucky to have a little over 200 miles of great riding from the SRP canal system and multi-use trails that branch from it here in Mesa Arizona.

  15. Come to NYC. Where one can bike and get run over and killed. Then have your fellow cyclist ticketed the next day by the cops. True story.

  16. cycling shop, which has a lot variaty of bicycle stuff. very difficult in here to search parts that not too "pro like" which the price is very high.

  17. One of the biggest things you pointed out in the video is having a long-term plan. Intelligent, focused, and dedicated (not to mention HUGE community) support goes a long way towards making a cycling utopia happen. It doesn't hurt to have a little chocolate voicing over the plans and ideals either. 😉

  18. One critical infrastructure that is badly needed are safe, let me repeat it, SAFE, bike parking stations. Many people here don't dare to cycle to work simply because the the probability to be bike-less at the end of your shift is way too high.
    Also police taking bike theft more seriously would not harm.

  19. it is a jungle out here, I have to ride most of the time on the sidewalk and even sidewalks here are used by mopeds which is just pain in the ass for pedestrians.. Seeing how motorist use the road here 95% should not be given licenses.

  20. bike lanes in Mexico city used to be train tracks so they mostly go around the city. The rest of the so called "paths" either don't lead anywhere, are too hilly to be used for commuting or are too dangerous because of irresponsible public transport drivers and regular drivers. The government is trying to increase the number of cyclist by closing some major streets on weekends but only on the city centre which is meaningless to anyone but tourists. Bike scheme is terrible and only available in a few parts of the city and the asphalt is just potholes after pothole. Basically it's a terrible place to cycle

  21. Here in America the words bike and city is an oxymoron. The majority are not interested in cycling for health or commuting.We will never even come close because we are too lazy. I don't think that even tripling the fuel prices or limiting supplies would get us off our lazy asses. We got Uber now too so people who don't have cars still get around by car. I doubt I'll see things change in my life time. To mention another observation I've made throughout the decades is our women are fatter than ever before. Lots of fatties everywhere. Yup, we pride ourselves on making life easy so cycling is mostly never going to become as popular here compared to anywhere else in the World.

  22. I commute all over Los Angeles (SFV, DT, SM, KT) and my biggest issue is cracks in the street, potholes, and raised edges (where asphalt meets concrete). The next biggest issue is the occasional driver that gets a little close.

  23. how easy it is to cycle in and around my city? it is never easy. no not referring to the saying "it never gets easy you just get faster". I cycle through 2 cities of Cavite (Bacoor and Imus) and 4 cities of Metro Manila Las Pinas, Paranaque, Pasay and Taguig) going to work every work day. It is all the same. Roads are narrow for the most part, no bike lanes(bike lanes here are just painted part of the road that drivers ignore). Drivers drive like they don't see us. they also think they don't need to indicate which way they will turn because we are just crazy guys on a bike. Getting side swiped, getting close passed happens numerous times during my 27km commute. we kind of learned instinctively avoid getting killed. How I wish I live on Copenhagen.

  24. seems like no where is safe to get around on your bike, useless drivers everywhere , and Sydney is no fucken better.

  25. try commuting in Los Angeles. I got hit by a car riding in the sidewalk! I wasn't even on the road and somehow she still managed to get me down. Ridiculous you cant even commute a mile without being in danger.

  26. Profile of the city terrain would be critical. If there are lots of hilly area in the city then the cycling will become an exercise rather than a transportation.

  27. Around here in my hometown, cycling while dressed as a commuter would be a death wish. Cycling while dressed as a pro cyclist will earn you a bit of respect but motorists will still try to run you over.

  28. recently here in my country there's driver who just ran over 8 cyclist and kill em all and government dont even care much bout it.

  29. I live in Montreal Canada I think it is fairly bike friendly with Paths going all around the Island and then some.. Like most Urban places Cars and traffic tends to get cluttered due to the city trying to retrofit the old with new IE the Cobblestone roads in the Old Port with newer tarmac slows everything way down

  30. I'm in Taiwan, and commute 4 to 5 days a week, 20 mile round trip, in the city, and it is much faster than driving, and about the same time as on a scooter. Excellent road surface, friendly drivers. One is safer on a bicycle than a scooter or motorbike, because the motorist or rider will most of the time be held responsible if there is an accident. It also helps that there are a lot of elderly people using bikes as only mode of transport.

  31. Wow, if Copenhagen is heaven for cyclist then Bangkok would be hell for us. No infrastructure supports cycling here. Local government did try to create bike lane around the palace area but at the end of the day, it turned into car park, motorcycle park, trash can, taxi stand and even police car parks on it!

    We have to ride along side motorcycle and squeeze through to congested traffic. Can't imagine? check out NYC bike messenger then.

  32. Hello , pls someone help , i have made a hard training sesion on my trainer about 7-8 days ago and my legs are still swollow and tension and the muscle hurts even when i walk , what its this and what can i do ????? ty

  33. Philippines especially our capital Manila, If there was a law for bikes it would take up to 100 years to change things up.

  34. I think there should be a 6th key factor to to the perfect cycling city which is the behavioral approach of cyclists to their surroundings. In Copenhagen, most if not all cyclists stick to the cycle lanes provided and obey the vast majority of road laws. This allows a far better and more efficient experience for other road users including themselves. Most cities aspire to have such a system available to cyclists and throw endless amounts of money planning routes and upgrading infrastructure but its the people who cause the most resistance to perfection.

  35. All these people riding without helmets. I think they should require them to use a helmet. It's the equivalent of using a seatbelt in a car I think….

  36. cold denmark weather is also a big factor. you'll virtually wont sweat there, so you'll stay fresh after an hour of relaxed cycling.

    i stay in singapore, you'll be drenched in sweat just a few km's of cycling.

  37. cool vid, I wonder what bike theft is like there compared to the rest of the world. I'm from just outside Toronto, Canada; in downtown Toronto, there are a relatively a lot of bikes and they are excepted as normal traffic really well, but outside of that, in the rest of the actual city, and all of the nabouring cities that make up the 'Greater Toronto Area' it's pretty mixed; some drivers are fine with it, but there are a pretty good number of people who have a problem, and like to show how they don't like cyclists by honking or berating us. Just within the last few weeks, beyond being honked at daily, I've had a guy get right on my wheel and lay on his horn for a good 45 seconds straight, another guy in the passenger seat of a car hang out the window to tell me to ride on the sidewalk, and another guy going on and on at a stop light to tell me I should move over to the gutter or the sidewalk to allow a car to make a right, ending with him addressing the entire intersection to tell them "Here is the king; king of the road; he owns it" etc. smh. It was snowing and cold (I say because, any other time if you'd like to speak your opinion go for it, but this guys going to do it when someones standing there in the cold, covered in snow, just a complete goof smh) …I was positioned perfectly to the left of the right side lane, exactly how we're supposed to be, there wasn't enough room for him to make a right, using the rest of the lane; the guy that wanted to make the right honked at me, when I looked he made a hand gesture to tell me to move that I ignored, then yeah, the guy in the middle lane barated me for the remainder of the light being red. I said this it's the safest place for me to be and exactly where I'm supposed to be. Said either way it's two minutes, asked him if the guy was on his way to a Hospital, lol, but none of it sunk in, just a goof. The issue comes a lot from the cyclists in the area too, almost none of them, other than me, really understand the rules and recommendations for riding making what to expect from cyclists very inconsistent, and drivers who also don't understand, just loose patience. Even the cyclist downtown, they're all over the place. The info is there to find out, but they don't look :(, they just keep riding through the gutter, or right beside parked cars etc until they get hurt or in arguments they don't have the knowledge to win, it's just sad. The 'baraters' aren't the worst though, they are all just young men looking for a fight more/less, it's the one's who honk that are the real issue; they are the ones who see the simple task of slowing and moving over as a difficult thing and the ones who shouldn't be licensed to drive for that reason, those are the one's who likely end up hitting people imo.

  38. and at the other end of the scale…. Sydney (the worst city in the world for getting around on by bike). Congrats Copenhagen!

  39. Here in Hong Kong, everyone hates us, it's hell for cyclist, roads are narrow, drivers have bad attitudes, government doing nothing but complaining about the traffic it's because of us. Basically, everything is our fault. We have to ride at 5am every morning just to avoid cars

    I understand that the problems that I mentioned, happen to lots of cities, but come on, I'm talking about HK, consider the money our government has, it's not been well used. Also, those shitty law that keeps finding us.

  40. Working in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) , I do see cyclists who seem to ride their own bikes, and the city has a maturing city sponsored bike rental program that is well used and is continuing to grow.  But the motorized traffic and the often careless driving practices (running traffic signals, texting-while-driving and other practices leading to drivers giving poor attention to the road) make cycling in Boston sometimes dangerous.

  41. I grew up in Copenhagen. I never realized how good we had it then. I live in Houston,TX, and it is rough with drivers and bad streets. Fortunately we have a large bike culture for roadies. So we are able to ride in suburbia and country roads. We have parts where there 100's of riders in all different groups on any given Saturday. We also have many organized rides throughout the week. Safety is better in numbers. Interval training works good on country roads. Commuting is not a good option unless you can shower when getting to your destination from April – October for sure.

  42. cycle tracks should automatically be built next to train lines – never see a train going up a steep hill…

  43. I think it is great the most folk who cycle in Copenhagen and Amsterdam do it in regular clothes. No need to get changed into lycra. People cycle at a sedate pace on upright bike. It not like some cycle lanes in London when at rush hour you would think the TdF peloton was passing. When folk get in their car they don't put on a race suit like Lewis Hamilton, so why do they feel the need to do the equivalent on a bike?

  44. you are dezinformed. CHECK NETHERLANDS, UTRECHT CITY. see their infrastucture, their culture, their mentality. comenhagen is SHIT compared to almost any city in Netherlands..

  45. I think that most aspects of a cycling city that have been highlighted combine to only partly create the 'cycling culture' discussed. A lot of these aspects are dealing with the elimination of barriers to bicycle usage in cities, including objective barriers (e.g.: lack of infrastructure) and subjective barriers (e.g.: negative perception of safety on the roads). Equally however, heightened ecological awareness as a motivator for cycling, through proper education about anthropogenic emissions pollution and climate change in these countries, should not be ignored as a contributing factor to a country's 'cycling culture'. Increasing cycling participation in cities is as much a social issue as it is physical; so a combination of decreasing barriers to cycling and a nationwide embrace of sustainable environmental views through education policy leads to a good 'cycling culture'.

  46. Here in Northern Jersey/NYC it's quite the opposite. You have to take your position in the road quite aggressively or you'll be run over by people passing you extremely closely.

  47. I just moved to Boulder to avoid the usual bike vs cars problems. it's a great place and has excellent infrastructure but cars and trucks still pose a problem due to poor driver education…and sometimes idiots on bikes. still the best place in the USA to ride!

  48. Ive rode for A LONG TIME – the major problems are (in the uk) not using eyes, speeding, treating you like a piece of… seeing you as not important…drivers commit murder whilst driving yet get away with it ! The Dept of Transport/CPS/Courts/Judges – totally reorganised ! The city where i livehas a cycles for hire scheme YET youve got to go online to load money onto an account THEN hire the bike..yet no lanes, no courtesy from drivers… ITS A JOKE cycling in this country !!!!!!!!

  49. I totally missed the 5 keys. The first was infrastructure and the rest of what i heard was some weird advertisement for copenhagen.

  50. Making safe cycling lanes gets more people to use bikes. Many people are afraid of accidents with motor vehicles.

  51. We have some good infrastructure here in some parts of Sydney, however there is clearly no overall plans for cycling, even within a single council area, and rules for the use of the paths are obviously created by people who don't ride. Also many cycling paths are actually 'shared paths' shared between bicycles and pedestrians, joggers, pram pushers, dog walkers, etc. Too often bike infrastructure seems to be a way for councils to get extra funding and/or votes rather than a plan to encourage/integrate cycling.

    With so many paths being 'shared paths', the other big issue is the zombie behaviour of so many pedestrians who have right of way and pay no attention to their surroundings, whether on the phone or not.

  52. It's very easy too get around in my city.. as long as you don't mind riding the same lane of a bus driving at 80 km/h..

  53. Haven't been to Copenhagen unfortunately, but San Sebastian is probably the best cycling city I've visited. Really well thought out cycle lanes, somehow you could get almost from one side of the city centre to the other without cuttings through traffic or pedestrians.

  54. Buffalo, NY (where I am from) has an alright bicycle friendly infrastructure. Thankfully our major established a plan to make our city significantly more bicycle friendly. It has been impressive to see just how quickly our city is adapting.

  55. I work in Copenhagen two weeks a month and it's a great city. I have a bike there (lent by friends) and it's so easy to just get on it and go wherever you need to go – because it's a proper city bike there is no faffing around with getting changed, locks, helmets etc – just go. A weekly shop is easily done in a Christiania bike (you can also fit a couple of kids for a trip out). And of course CPH has some of the best pubs, restaurants and beaches anywhere – highly recommended in summer!

  56. I live on the Wirral and my city is Liverpool and I'm way to scared to rise through the tunnel the trains are down and the ferrys cost a small fortune

  57. I'm a student in Manchester. I find it really hard to plan rides for my university cycling club because of the poor quality of cycle lanes/paths and because of highly congested roads. Not enough is done for cycling in the city and the surrounding area were so many people commute to work/study by bike

  58. I think this video overlooked a couple of key issues present in places like Copenhagen and the Netherlands:

    1. They make it more difficult to own and use a car inside the city. In some places cars are banned completely, and in other places the cost of parking, car taxes, car costs, etc. are very high. So it makes more financial sense to get around by bike than it does with a motor vehicle.

    2. Motorist/cyclist education and accountability. In those places, almost every ride a bike at some point, for the purpose of transportation, at some point in their lives. And they all participate in some form of cycling education in their schools from a young age. Additionally, the in the cases of car/bike collisions, the fault is assumed to lie with the motorist unless they can prove otherwise. Those things make for a culture where motor vehicle drivers are far more likely to respect and look out for other road users, and care about more than just themselves.

    Without those things, you simply can't just copy infrastructure design and expect it to become some kind of cycling mecca.

  59. I live in High Wycombe in England – half-way between Oxford (a big cycling city) and London (ditto). And yet my county council does the bare minimum to encourage cycling – we are an inconvenience at best, vehicle fodder at worst. It has no sense whatsoever of the wider benefits of encouraging cycling, which is very frustrating.

    I would so love to live in Copenhagen – tempted to move out there…

  60. in hyderabad, cycle lanes are a dream for everyone… the isn't even a footpath and the roads on which cars ride is absolutely terrible. on top of that people travelling in car itself don't find it safe… so you can forget about us.😂

  61. there are plenty of cycling friendly cities in Italy too, with a simple
    cycling culture, high modal shares and good infrastructure, read about
    them:
    https://albertomzanni.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/a-digested-read-of-the-legambiente-2017-report-on-the-cycling-economy-in-italy/

  62. lets find a way to merge the benefits of both the US and european model. I get annoyed with the bash,,,bash..bash attitude.

  63. I live in the South of Brazil and getting aroud by bike are dangerous cuz unfortunable nobody take Cyclism seriously

  64. I think small pockets of Sydney, Australia is proving that if you build it, they come. This is a city that can be very hostile towards cyclists (a result of poor infrastructure and lack of a cycling culture), but in the past decade improvements have been made in certain areas. I cycle to and from work every day on an excellent Dutch-style cycleway that runs from the inner south to my workplace and it's packed with cyclists every morning. It's linked to some nice "cycle friendly" quiet streets and links that run North and West through the city.

    Went cycling through parts of the inner south, inner west and the CBD with a Dutch friend of mine, and he told me "cycling here wasn't as bad as I expected". Obviously I only took him through the safest areas.

    Generally, there is a lack of connectivity and a lack of high quality infrastructure. Local councils here have a hard time work together as they have vastly different options on the importance of building cycling infrastructure. They often have to make big compromises to get anything through as the general attitude towards cycling infrastructure is that "there is no space" and that street parking is a holy entity. The extremely low proportion of trips being made by cyclists in the city makes it seem like wasting a ton of money on very few people.

    The inner city seems to have some idea of what they are doing, you can already see that main streets of new, inner-ring developments within the council now come with nice, segregated cyclepaths or wide shared paths (which aren't optimal but good for children and casual riders). I see things changing (very slowly) for the better within the next decade.

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