Cyclists, environmentalists and damn dirty hippies rejoice: Bikes outsold cars in almost every country in the European Union last year.
NPR reports that Greece, Slovenia and Romania led the pack of countries where bicycles outsold cars, and the only two lame holdouts were Belgium and Luxembourg, who insist on livin’ that car life. NPR also notes that EU car sales reached a 20-year low earlier in 2013.
As Americans, it’s pretty crazy to hear these stats roll in, since we live in a country that treats cyclists and their advocates as mysterious and ugly unicorns. The main concern is often about what making room for bikes will mean for cars — our beautiful, massive, steel and lacquer cars.
Filmmaker Heather Quinlan just came out with a 14-minute short that shows New Yorkers’ trepidation, disdain and skepticism about bike culture. And while there are supporters, it seems the critics’ voices are much louder.
NPR also mentions that U.S. car sales are back to pre-recession levels, meaning that hard times did not make way for the era of bikes. Denmark might have their fancy little bike highway, and the notorious car lovers in Spain have even let it go. But Americans will always have their cars.
And freedom. Can’t forget freedom.