The BBC recently reported that for the first time in decades bicycle sales surpassed automobile sales in Italy. The year 2011 saw around 1.75 million bicycles sold in Italy, over 2,000 more than the number of cars registered.
While Italy has long had a strong connection with cycling, from the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy), to being the birthplace of iconic cycling brands such as Campagnolo and Cinelli, amongst others; it has not become the cycling example that Amsterdam and Copenhagen are. But change is in the wind, the numbers don’t lie, and for the first time car sales are down to what they were in 1964.
The BBC attributes “the change to a slump in car sales during the economic crisis and the rising price of petrol, as well as bikes coming back into fashion.” More than economics, more than fashion – bicycles are back. Italian President Napolitano has made a commitment to follow in the footsteps of Italy’s European neighbors and help make it’s cities more bike friendly.
The proof is becoming more abundant, bicycles are back in a big way!