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Friday, October 25, 2013

In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars | @NPR‎

A mechanic repairs a bike at Calmera bike shop in Madrid in September. As car sales slump across Europe, bicycle sales in Spain are outpacing cars — a trend seen across much of the Continent.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
We know that Europeans love their bicycles — thinkAmsterdam or Paris. Denmark even has highways specifically for cyclists.
Indeed, earlier this month, NPR's Lauren Frayer reported that Spain, which has long had a love affair with cars, is embracing the bicycle: For the first time on record, Lauren noted, bicycles outsold cars in the country.
But it's becoming a Continent-wide phenomenon. More bikes were sold in Italy than cars — for the first time since World War II.
This prompted us to look at the figures across the 27 member states of the European Union for both cars and bicycles. New-car registrations for Cyprus and Malta weren't available, so we took them out of the comparison.
Here's what we found: Bicycle sales outpaced new-car sales last year in every one of those countries, except Belgium and Luxembourg. The top five countries by bicycle sales can be seen in the top chart.

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