It may have taken a full generation for Queen's 1978 oddball anthem Bicycle Race to take effect, but by golly, folks in the band's native UK, not to mention the rest of Europe, are getting the rather operatic message. Last year, Europeans bought more bicycles than light-duty vehicles in 25 of the 27 EU member nations, reflecting the dual realities of a sputtering economy and rising fuel prices, NPR reports.

In Italy, bikes outsold cars for the first time since World War II. And Freddie Mercury (if he were alive) would probably be pleased to know that the UK is are rocking the two wheels, with bike sales there almost twice as high as were car sales last year. In France, bikes outsold cars by about a three-to-two ratio, and even in car-crazy Germany, bikes outsold cars by about four to three. In fact, out of the European Union's 27 countries tracked, only Belgium and Luxembourg had higher car sales than bike sales in 2012.

Some European municipalities have enforced traffic laws specifically designed to encourage bike-riding as a way to cut both pollution and congestion. Notably, this summer, lawmakers in Edinburgh, Scotland, unveiled a plan to enforce a speed limit of 20 miles per hour throughout most of its residential and busier commercial districts. You can get a feel for the two-wheeled fun in our review of the 2014 BMW Cruise E-Bike.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not sure what the big deal is, bikes have been ouselling cars in the USA for years. http://nbda.com/articles/industry-overview-2012-pg34.htm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @throwback
        Hmm, did not know that bikes ousold cars in the USA as well. This is good news. I live in NYC and I see that more and more businesses are popping out around bicycling industry. Starting from municpal programs such as citibike http://citibikenyc.com rise of commercial bicycling : http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/commercial-cyclists.shtml and even bike insurance companies http://velosurance.com Also more and more Local Bike Shops are popping up in all boroughs of New York
        CarNutMike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @throwback
        Thanks for that link.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      We have 5 operational bikes in our household and only 2 cars.
      BraveLil'Toaster
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, let's see what we can do to make these statistics lie: - Bikes cost less than cars, just so you know. - Define "bike". Do you mean kids' bikes? Do you mean motor bikes? Do you mean mopeds (hugely popular across Europe for as long as I can remember)? Do you mean all of the above (probably)? - Does this mean more about car sales than it means about bike sales? Have bike sales gone up in proportion to falling car sales, or have bikes stayed the same? - Who's buying the bikes, anyway? Are they for those who are too young to drive, indicating a demographic shift, (in Italy, not likely) or they for adults who want a better way to get around? This little statistic can, in fact, mean anything, and in reality probably doesn't mean anything at all.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      BREAKING NEWS! Walking Shoes out sell bicycles!
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        But there are more shoes than feet! Just look at my gf's closet....