An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd: Europe loves bikes!

This is an Amsterdam bike parking zone.
Apparently with room for 1 million more!
Bike sales in Europe are exploding, according to sources all over the Olde World. Italy is the Eurozone's biggest bike producer and exporter, but per capita, the Netherlands seems to be consuming the most new bikes. In 2014, the Dutch bought more than 1 million new two-wheelers -- even though the total population of the country is just 16 million.

That points to an especially interesting fact: This growth in bike use in an already bike-crazy culture is not due to population growth.  Most Northern European countries, the Netherlands included, are desperately close to zero population growth, which is a real problem longterm because these highly socialized and progressive countries rely on new taxpayers to help pay for their famous social safety nets -- like paid maternity leave, and liveable pensions.  
Anyone who has ever been to Amsterdam will wonder out loud: How can they even find room for another 1 million bikes per year?!

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