Spaniards Buy More Bikes Than Cars

6 Oct

NPR blogger Lauren Frayer reports that (more and more people in Spain are discovering the bicycle as transportation). For the first time, more bicycles than cars have been sold in that country.

Barcelona Bicyclist

A lone bicyclist braves a busy Barcelona boulevard.

She notes that cars have long been a status symbol in Spain, so the rise in bicycles as transportation represents a big change. While visiting Spain in 2007, I saw that, although many people in Madrid and Barcelona walk and take transit, cars were everywhere. Most of the cyclists I saw were Spandex-wearing long-distance riders. The photo shows an exception.

Spains Congress of Deputies building

Acknowledging the recent growth in bicycle use, Spain’s congress is debating a bicycle helmet bill.

Another sign of change in Spain is that the country’s most important newspaper, El País, now hosts a blog that advocates bicycles as transportation. Called I Love Bicis (Bikes), its latest post as of this writing discusses a debate in Spain’s congress about whether to require youths younger than 18 to wear helmets while cycling.

If a country as car-centered as Spain can embrace bicycles as transportation, could the US and the Omaha metro do it, too?

Post and Photos by: Curtis Bryant

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