Whir of bicycle tires: a Dutch treat for folks going places

You may have seen pictures of people in the Netherlands riding bicycles. But have you any idea just how important bicycle culture is in their cities, particularly Amsterdam? Well, consider this: At its main railway station, Amsterdam is building a 10,000-bike parking garage. Fully 40 percent of traffic movement in the city is on two wheels. Virgin Vacations, a website affiliated with Virgin Atlantic Airlines, shares these facts in explaining why it has ranked Amsterdam first among the 11 most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Virgin used what it calls the five "E's" in the selection process: engineering (lanes, signals, etc.), education, encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement. The most bike-friendly cities, according to Virgin Vacations:

1. Amsterdam
2. Portland, Ore.
3. Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Boulder, Colo.

5. Davis, Calif.

6. Sandnes, Norway
7. Trondheim, Norway
8. San Francisco
9. Berlin
0. Barcelona, Spain
11. Basel, Switzerland

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