Cycling During the Pandemic: The Bicycle Industry Booms in the U.S. and Europe


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Photo by Maxfoot on Pixabay

A small but shining silver lining: The coronavirus has accelerated the shift to pedal power in Europe and the United States. The German Cycling Association (ADFC) reports that Germans across the country are spending twice as much time biking as they were before the pandemic. There is surging demand for bikes and shared-bike subscriptions, and now even shortages throughout bicycle supply chain. For bike shops it’s an unprecedented boom. So much so that it requires cities to improve their biking infrastructure.

In unimagined numbers, bikes are starting to squeeze out cars in our cities. This uptick in cycling has spurred 930 miles of new bike lanes in Europe, “muscling aside cars on Europe’s city streets,” according to European Cyclists Federation. Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands are pioneering fast lanes for commuters. “Pop-up lanes” are being used for bikes in Berlin and Paris; Rome has painted new bike lanes, in each case taking away lanes from cars.

Germany is the largest bicycle market in Europe with 1.36 million bikes sold in 2019 and now a surge in demand. That compares with 3.6 million cars sold last year. According to Bloomberg Energy News, that volume tumbled 35% in the first half of 2020.



Electric Bicycles and Other Trends

Women riders are reportedly a big factor in the biking revolution. E-bikes are, too. E-bikes use an onboard battery to boost power to the drive train when the rider is going up a hill, or just needs a rest. E-bikes have removed “the sweat factor.” Who wants to show up to work or a party sweaty? Many Europeans that use E-bikes see them as substitutes for their cars. They are switching to bikes and E-bikes for their commutes to improve health and fitness, save money, because they enjoy riding, and for the sake of the environment. Nine in ten Danes own a bike; only four in ten own a car.

Storm
2/9/2021 2:52:36 AM

Wow! I thought it was just me but this article confirms it. I live in Belgium and was surprised to see so many bicycles, especially the electrical ones. This is good news for our planet :) -Storm




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