22 Nov, 2013 @ 06:30
1 min read

Pedal power rules as Spain gets on its bike


CASH-STRAPPED Spaniards have bought more bikes than cars for the first time on record.

A total 780,000 new bikes have been sold this year, compared to 700,000 cars as a result of higher taxes on both fuel and new vehicles.

The figures represent a 4% increase in bike sales, and a whopping 30% fall in car sales.

The figures are somewhat shocking for a country which, unlike its neighbours, doesn’t embrace cycling as a means of getting around.

Few people in the country commute to work on their bike, and Spain has one of Europe’s highest fatality rates for road cyclists in Europe.

Claire Wilson

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  1. It’s got to be desperation. Having (foolishly) cycled, with my wife, along the Via Verde between Olvera and Puerto Serrano one late June. I can confirm there will be many Spanish cyclists dropping cork-legged from the heat. Although cycling is to be applauded, Spain, at least in the south, is not cycling country for amateurs. They will also be a nice, soft target for the matadors who call themselves drivers.

  2. Sir, the high fatality rate of bicycle riders in Spain is no news to me. I was in Spain in October this year and I was shocked to see riders not wearing helmets. In Australia it is mandatory to wear helmets.

    Maybe a few more health and safety regulations will enhance Spanish life and the flow of tourists – like a few more public toilets in the cities and public drinking fountains (we call them bubblers)in parks and streetscapes.

    Apart from these comments I thoroughly enjoyed Madrid, Avila,Salamanca, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville and Cadiz. I will be back again!

    Eric McDonald, Canberra, Australia

  3. Compulsory helmets, compulsory voting. Is there no end to compulsion in Australia? (Perhaps some compulsion to undo the years of apartheid toward their indigenous people may be in order.) There is no proof that helmets make any difference to cycle safety. In fact, they can bestow a false sense of security in riders and greater recklessness by drivers toward them.

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