The Top 14 Bike Stories Of 2013 | FastCompany

From the vitality of bike share programs to new ideas for cycle-friendly streets, life on two wheels got a little sweeter this year.

Bike culture went more mainstream than ever in 2013. At last count there were 500 bike share programs in cities worldwide, from the largest in Paris, with 18,380 bikes, to one of the newest--Citibike in New York City, which launched in May. The data shows that New Yorkers are (mostly) loving it. A whopping 80,000 people signed up for annual memberships in the first 100 days.
A lot of the rise in the popularity of biking is thanks to improvements in bike lanes and other safety infrastructure. Today, local governments are more aware than ever that making cycling easier for citizens is not just to please a few enthusiasts. Rather, more cyclists on the road can save a city in health costs, reduce road congestion, and boost local businesses. Europe has gone so far down this path that this year, for the first time, new bike sales overtook new car sales across the continent.
It doesn’t hurt that there’s an explosion of new ideas and products that aim to make cycling more convenient, safe, and even more environmentally friendly. Some are super logical, it’s a wonder they haven’t been done yet. Like the new brightly lit helmet that lets cars see a biker from all sides. Others are more, let’s say, unique.
Read more below for a look at where biking stands in 2013, and from a relatively new cyclist herself, here’s hoping we see even more bike-friendly cities next year.