Bicycles in Europe are so popular that in 2012, they outsold cars in every European country except Belgium and Luxembourg. In Spain, 2012 was the first year that bicycles outsold cars, while in Italy, it was the first time since World War II. The popularity of bicycles in Europe during the early 21st century is thought to be because of economic struggles in European countries, which helped cause automobile sales to reach a 20-year low. European governments have also encouraged bicycle use. For example, in the Netherlands, there are bicycle "school buses" — children on a 12-person bicycle rig that is led by an adult — and in Denmark, there are highways reserved for cyclists.
More about bicycles:
- In 2012, the bicycle was the world’s most popular form of transportation, with more than 133 million bicycles produced.
- Only about 1% of commuters in the US travel by bicycle, compared with 30% of commuters in the Netherlands and more than 50% in China.
- Germany was the European country that purchased the most bicycles in 2012, at more than 3.9 million.