As we discussed in our last blog post, biking is a form of travel that has been around for centuries. It is a curious form of travel, because it has stayed popular for longer than many fad-inspired forms of transportation. This is perhaps because it is popular due to it’s transitive nature, as well as its value in terms of recreation and exercise. Whatever you choose to ride your bike for, we can all agree that bicycling is enjoyable and popular for many, regardless of background, age, gender or any denomination.
As popular as biking is, it seems to be experiencing a spike even now. More people are biking than ever before. So what is this due to? Well, there are several reasons. One is that biking is being promoted by the many celebrities who bike in the spotlight. As we discussed in our blog, Celebrities Who Bike, there are many celebrities who enjoy biking. The list includes: Jennifer Aniston, who was a bike messenger, Matthew McConaughey, who likes to bike with Lance Armstrong, Pink, who says she bikes for exercise and fun, and George W. Bush who created the Warriors 100k, the biking fundraiser he started to help our troops, and Patrick Dempsey, who is arguably the most devoted cyclist out there. He not only bikes for fun, but for charity as well. He started the Dempsey Challenge- a bike event that raises money for the Patrick Dempsey Center, which supports individuals and families with cancer. The Dempsey Challenge includes bike rides with distances of 10, 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles.
But celebrities aren’t the only inspiration behind this wave of bikers. It seems that a lot of young bikers are taking nods from cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, whose vast and vibrant biking cultures stem from more environmental reasons. Amsterdam has created a ton of bike lanes as well as created city planning projects that include shared streets for bikes and public transit, such as train or bus. The trend for this project and Amsterdam as a whole is to go completely car-free. Because of their proclivity for biking and using public transit, the city is free from a lot of the greenhouse gas emissions that are a part of almost every other city in the world. Copenhagen has similar biking plans. Over the past twenty years, Copenhagen has seen a 68 percent increase in biking. This can be broken down to the creation of a bunch of bike paths and lanes as well as the social push and subsequent policy for biking recognition. Currently, the city has a goal of getting 50 percent of all journeys being made via bike. We will see what happens!
Even if you don’t live in Copenhagen or Amsterdam or aren’t a celebrity, you can still enjoy biking. It is popular for a reason and if you’re looking to experience the best of biking, contact Bike Tour Vacations and sign up for a Great Lakes bike tour today!