Cycling in an urban environment doesn’t have to mean dodging cars, doing battle with pedestrians and surreptitiously ducking the wrong way down a one-way street only to be met by the boys in blue at the other end. Here we highlight five cities around the world which really have their bike groove turned on high.
The wild card: Rome, Italy
I know. It doesn’t make sense. They drive like maniacs, it’s awfully crowded in the holidays and road signs are non-existent. But actually Rome is a little cycling city of joy and here’s why. Firstly, most of the areas around the big architectural sites are pedestrianised meaning bike access between them and to them is infinitely better than using a car. And the journey is stunning – Rome is quite literally a feast for your eyes.
Secondly, while the city has begrudgingly painted in some bike lanes you can effectively ignore these and instead make use of the river path to get across the city which is peaceful and calm.
Thirdly, you can get out of the city pretty easily to link up with the ancient Appian Way which in its hey-day stretched the 330 miles from Rome to the port of Brindisi. You’ll need a bike with a touch of suspension unless you want to practice your Roubaix skills but the scenery is beyond beautiful so well worth the trip. Don’t feel compelled to ride all of it obviously but once you start you may find it difficult to stop.