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The best cities for travelling by electric bike

Traditional bicycles now have a competitor: the electric bike, ideal for hills. To celebrate World Bicycle Day, we are looking for ideal places to make the best use of the vehicle of the present and the future.

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3 June is World Bicycle Day, a date chosen by the United Nations to celebrate one of the greatest inventions in the history of mobility. Tradition and innovation combined to provide the perfect solution: the electric bike, which has a number of advantages:

  • It is comfortable, because you no longer have to get off and walk uphill.
  • It is cheap, especially if compared to what a motorcycle costs.
  • It is clean, because it is recharged through solar panels or the electricity grid.

This is the electric bike, an invention for all types of people.

An eminently urban device that is ideal in two situations when we have no time to lose: travelling to and from work and sightseeing.

We chose 4 cities in Spain and 3 in Europe where it is especially enjoyable to travel by electric bike.

 

Seville: Bike lane paradise

The capital of Andalusia is an excellent city for cycling. And not just because of the sunny climate, but because it is considered to be one of the best cities worldwide for travelling on two wheels.

Recent surveys show that almost 10% of people in Seville uses this transport regularly. This has led to the construction of a network of 140 kilometres of bike lanes.

Even though the route is mostly flat, the number and length of the different cycling routes make it ideal for having an electric motor to help your legs.

 

Santander: Hills by the sea

Now we move up to the north of the peninsula to visit Santander, a city that is built on a hillside. You really need good legs to cycle here. Or better still: an electric bicycle so you can manage the endless hills.

There is a 26-kilometre network of bike lanes that make it easy to explore the city from end to end, starting in the Nueva Montaña to the neighbourhood of El Sardinero and the park of Las Llamas, and on to the La Albericia sports facilities and the Science and Technology Park.

If you are looking for a challenge, try cycling up the Calle Enrique Gran, the steepest road in the town, with a gradient that exceeds 25%.

 

San Sebastián: Cyclo-tourism routes

Further along the Cantabrian coast you come to “La Bella Easo”, where bike lanes are gaining ground almost everywhere in the city. The network covers almost 30 kilometres making it possible to cycle through the most iconic locations in the capital of the province of Gipuzkoa.

In spite of the effort made by the city council to install lifts, ramps, etc. to make it easier for cyclists, it is sometimes still quite a challenge because it is so hilly.

 

Barcelona: Bicycles as everyday transport

Since 2015, Barcelona has been promoting a strategy to make the bicycle an everyday means of urban transport, by significantly expanding the infrastructure for cycling and taking actions to ensure coexistence with the rest of users of the public road, including both pedestrians and vehicles. Promoting tourism on two wheels and making it possible to travel from one end of the city to the other without getting off your bike.

Barcelona currently has an incredible 272 kilometres of bike lanes, not counting the lanes where cyclists have preference that are now a common feature in the city centre. The objective is for the city to have a total of 308 kilometres of bike lane, putting it on the same level as those European cities with the most extensive facilities for cyclists.

 

Copenhagen: Ideal city for cyclists

The capital of Denmark is ideal for cyclists. You will see this as soon as you set out on a public road. Its streets have traffic lights for cyclists and a network of more than 390 kilometres of bike lanes.

An unusual fact is that this network features Dronning Louises Bro, the busiest bike lane in the world and used by nearly 40,000 people every day.

They are so passionate about bicycles that you can go anywhere in Copenhagen on two wheels: the coast, castles, nature... Would you like to explore the area surrounding the city? Forget about trains, taxis and buses. Get on your electric bike and enjoy some of the fantastic routes. You can go as far as Bellevue Beach in Klampenborg, 13 kilometres away, and even Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, about 47 kilometres away.

 

Ámsterdam: 400 km of bike lanes

Those who have never been to Amsterdam will be surprised when they see the number of bicycles on the streets. When talking about size, it is difficult to beat the more than 400 kilometres of bike lanes in the metropolitan area of Amsterdam.

The bicycle helps you make good use of your time inside and gives easy access to the areas furthest from the centre. Because even though it may not seem like it, the distances are long, so sitting on your saddle is a really good option when it comes to avoiding the rush, the crowds and really long walks. There are also bike routes to Muiderslot Castle and Lake Naarden.

It is practically flat, but there are often strong winds in the area that make it harder for cyclists than when they have to pedal uphill. But with an electric bicycle it is so much easier.

 

Strasbourg: Car-free zone

Half French and half German, Strasbourg is known for being one of the headquarters of the European Union. But very few people know that it is also one of the best cities in the world for cycling.

Much of the historical town centre is a car-free zone, so an electric bicycle is the most suitable option for moving around the city.

The City Council has organised a number of routes and guided bike tours. Special mention should go to the route to discover the European Institutions, a ride along the Bruche canal and the Franco-German route in the outskirts of Strasbourg, with 85 kilometres of easy cycling along both banks of the River Rhine.

 

Roundabouts in the Netherlands: What are they and how do they work?

We will take a break from European cities with a great cycling tradition to talk about roundabouts in the Netherlands. They work just like any other roundabout, but they are different because they have a specific lane for bicycles, delimited by a colour that distinguishes them from the other lanes and signs that give priority to bicycles over the other vehicles. This makes traffic orderly and cyclists enjoy greater safety when using them.

This means that not only cyclists are protected but also pedestrians, who will enjoy the highest priority when using the pedestrian crossings included in this type of roundabout.

Some Spanish cities such as Bilbao, Seville and Logroño are beginning to implement Dutch roundabouts, and they are an established feature in countries like the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and, of course, the Netherlands.

Share your opinion

What is your opinion about Dutch roundabouts? Do you prefer dedicated bike lanes or lanes with a preference for bicycles? Are you thinking about switching to an electric bike but you are not yet sure?

Now it is your turn, share your opinion and join the debate on our social networks using the following hashtags: #bicicletaeléctrica #MovilidadSostenible #CiudadSostenible.

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