The world’s 11 most impressive cycling infrastructure projects

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Ben Jones

Bike Destinations, Other

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Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just starting to discover the joy of biking, we’ve got a thrilling list of the world’s most impressive cycling infrastructure projects for you. These remarkable routes are not just functional but also showcase some of the most innovative, sustainable, and visually stunning designs in the world. So, book your plane ticket and get ready to explore these fantastic cycling adventures that will leave you wanting more!

The Hovenring, Eindhoven, Netherlands

The Hovenring

Ever imagined cycling on a UFO-shaped bridge? Well, the Hovenring in Eindhoven, Netherlands, gives you that otherworldly experience! Suspended by steel cables from a central 70-meter-high pylon, this futuristic-looking circular cable-stayed bridge is exclusively for cyclists and pedestrians. It’s the perfect blend of modern design and functionality, offering a safe and enjoyable ride above the busy motorway below.

A friend of mine once told me that cycling on the Hovenring felt like “floating in mid-air.” She said the smooth ride and the unique view of the surrounding cityscape were nothing short of magical!

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Visit the Van Abbemuseum: Discover contemporary art at this modern museum located in the heart of Eindhoven. The Van Abbemuseum houses a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and installations from local and international artists
  • Explore Strijp-S: Once an industrial park, Strijp-S has been transformed into a creative and cultural hub. With a mix of art studios, design shops, and trendy cafes, it’s the perfect place to experience Eindhoven’s vibrant atmosphere
  • Cycle through the Dommel Valley: Discover the natural beauty of Eindhoven by cycling along the Dommel River. This picturesque route takes you through lush forests, charming villages, and past historic watermills
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The Bicycle Snake (Cykelslangen), Copenhagen, Denmark

Cykelslangen

Copenhagen, the city known for its love affair with bicycles, takes cycling infrastructure to another level with the iconic Bicycle Snake. This 230-meter-long, bright orange elevated bridge allows cyclists to glide over the harbor, connecting the city’s various regions. The seamless design makes for a smooth, picturesque ride, and you’ll be sure to pass many smiling fellow cyclists along the way.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Copenhagen has more bicycles than people? That’s right! The city boasts around 675,000 bikes compared to its population of 615,000.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Tour Christiania: Experience the unique, alternative lifestyle of Freetown Christiania, an autonomous community in Copenhagen. Wander through its colorful streets, browse local markets, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere
  • Visit the Danish Design Museum: Explore Denmark’s rich design heritage at the Danish Design Museum. Exhibits include iconic Danish furniture, fashion, and industrial design, showcasing the country’s innovative spirit
  • Rent a GoBoat: Experience Copenhagen’s canals from a different perspective by renting a solar-powered GoBoat. These eco-friendly boats allow you to navigate the city’s waterways at your leisure while enjoying a relaxing picnic on board
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The Two Tunnels Greenway, Bath, UK

Two Tunnels Greenway

Take a ride through history on the Two Tunnels Greenway in Bath, UK. This 13-mile-long route passes through two restored railway tunnels, Combe Down and Devonshire, making for an unforgettable cycling adventure. As you pedal through the cool, dimly lit tunnels, you’ll be immersed in a unique atmosphere accompanied by the echoes of your bike tires on the path. And when you emerge into the daylight, you’ll be greeted by beautiful countryside views.

I remember biking through the tunnels with my kids a few years back, and we couldn’t help singing and whooping, marveling at the incredible acoustics! The experience was nothing short of enchanting, even if our singing abilities left something to be desired.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Explore the Roman Baths: Step back in time and learn about the city’s ancient history by visiting the Roman Baths. This well-preserved site offers a glimpse into the lives of Romans who once bathed and socialized in these thermal springs
  • Discover the Royal Crescent: Marvel at the stunning Georgian architecture of the Royal Crescent, a row of 30 terraced houses forming a sweeping curve. The nearby Royal Victoria Park is perfect for a relaxing post-ride picnic
  • Cycle the Kennet and Avon Canal: Embark on a scenic ride along the Kennet and Avon Canal, which connects the cities of Bristol and Reading. The towpath offers picturesque views of the countryside and historic canal-side buildings
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The Bicentennial Bicycle Path, Santiago, Chile

Bicentennial Bicycle Path

Discover Santiago’s hidden beauty by cycling along the Bicentennial Bicycle Path, a 26-kilometer-long route that runs along the Mapocho River. As you pedal, you’ll witness stunning mountain views and vibrant murals painted by local artists. The path connects various neighborhoods, parks, and landmarks, making it a perfect way to explore the city while getting in a great workout.

Pro Tip: Make a pit stop at the Bicentennial Park, a beautifully landscaped area with walking paths, playgrounds, and even a skatepark. It’s the perfect spot to take a break, soak in the surroundings, and grab a snack from one of the food trucks nearby.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Climb Cerro San Cristóbal: For an incredible view of Santiago and the surrounding Andes Mountains, hike or take the cable car to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal. This hill features a large statue of the Virgin Mary and provides an excellent vantage point for photography
  • Visit La Chascona: Explore the former home of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, now a museum dedicated to his life and work. La Chascona offers insight into Neruda’s unique personality and his love for art and collecting
  • Discover the Central Market: Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Santiago’s Central Market, a lively spot to sample local cuisine and fresh produce. Be sure to try some traditional Chilean dishes, like empanadas and ceviche
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The Velo-City Bicycle Expressway, Germany

Velo-City Bicycle Expressway

Germany’s Velo-City Bicycle Expressway is revolutionizing the concept of bike commuting. This network of interconnected bicycle highways is designed to make cycling more efficient and convenient, ultimately reducing automobile traffic. With smooth surfaces, minimal intersections, and separate lanes for overtaking, these expressways make long-distance cycling a breeze. Say goodbye to traffic jams and hello to a healthier, more sustainable commute!

I once met a German cyclist who had swapped his car for his bike, cycling to work on the Velo-City, and never looked back. He said he’d lost a ton of weight, saved a ton of cash, and felt more energized since making the switch!

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Visit the Gasometer Oberhausen: Near the Velo-City Expressway, the Gasometer Oberhausen is an industrial landmark turned exhibition space. This former gas storage facility now hosts art installations and events within its impressive, 117-meter-high structure
  • Cycle the Ruhr Valley: Explore the beautiful Ruhr Valley along the RuhrtalRadweg, a 230-kilometer-long cycling route that follows the River Ruhr from its source to its mouth. This scenic route passes through picturesque landscapes, historic industrial sites, and charming towns
  • Discover Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park: This former iron and steel production site has been transformed into a unique park that blends nature, industry, and culture. The park features walking and cycling trails, gardens, and impressive industrial monuments
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The Maastunnel, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Maastunnel

Step back in time as you cycle through the historic Maastunnel in Rotterdam. Built in 1942, this remarkable tunnel features separate tubes for pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicles. A set of wooden escalators transports you and your bike to the tunnel entrance, and as you pedal along the 1,070-meter stretch, you’ll feel a sense of history and nostalgia.

Fun Fact: The Maastunnel was the first car tunnel in the Netherlands and was built using a technique called “immersed tube” construction, where prefabricated tunnel segments were sunk into a trench and connected underwater.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Explore the Markthal: Satisfy your taste buds at the stunning Markthal, an architectural marvel that houses a vibrant food market. Sample a variety of local and international delicacies, from Dutch cheeses to fresh seafood
  • Visit the Cube Houses: Discover the quirky Cube Houses designed by architect Piet Blom. These innovative, tilted cube-shaped homes offer a unique perspective on urban living. You can even tour the inside of one of the houses, known as the “Kijk-Kubus” (Show-Cube)
  • Cycle the Kinderdijk Windmills: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinderdijk is famous for its 19 windmills dating back to the 18th century. The picturesque cycling route takes you through the surrounding polders and offers stunning views of these iconic Dutch structures
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The Perth Bicycle Network, Perth, Australia

Perth Bicycle Network

Whether you’re a casual cyclist or a fitness fanatic, the Perth Bicycle Network has got you covered. This extensive network of over 700 kilometers of bicycle paths and routes connects Perth’s suburbs, city center, and beautiful coastline. From scenic coastal rides to challenging hill climbs, there’s something for every cyclist to enjoy.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to cycle along the Swan River, where you can catch glimpses of dolphins and enjoy stunning views of the city skyline.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Take a ferry to Rottnest Island: Hop on a ferry and head to Rottnest Island, a popular destination for cyclists. With no cars allowed on the island, you can enjoy a leisurely ride along the pristine beaches and stunning coastal landscapes
  • Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Kings Park, one of the world’s largest inner-city parks. With over 300 native plant species, picturesque walking and cycling trails, and sweeping views of the city, it’s a must-visit for nature lovers
  • Discover Fremantle: Cycle to the historic port city of Fremantle, known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and vibrant arts scene. Don’t miss the Fremantle Markets, where you can shop for local crafts, fresh produce, and indulge in delicious street food
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The 606, Chicago, USA

The 606

Transforming a former railway line into a 2.7-mile-long elevated park and trail, The 606 in Chicago offers a greenway for cyclists, pedestrians, and joggers. As you ride along the landscaped trail, you’ll pass through different neighborhoods, art installations, and even community gardens. It’s a breath of fresh air in the heart of the city.

You’ll experience a feeling of serenity as you cycle along the 606 at sunrise, watching the city slowly come to life beneath you.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Visit the Art Institute of Chicago: Explore the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, home to an impressive collection of artwork spanning centuries and cultures. Don’t miss pieces like Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” and Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jette.”
  • Experience Navy Pier: A popular destination along Lake Michigan, Navy Pier offers entertainment, dining, and attractions for all ages. Enjoy the views from the Centennial Wheel, catch a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, or simply stroll along the waterfront
  • Discover the Lakefront Trail: Stretching for 18 miles along Chicago’s Lake Michigan shoreline, the Lakefront Trail is perfect for a scenic ride. The trail connects popular attractions like the Museum Campus, beaches, and parks, offering stunning views of the city skyline
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The Midtown Greenway, Minneapolis, USA

Midtown Greenway

The Midtown Greenway is a 5.7-mile-long bicycle and pedestrian trail that cuts through the heart of Minneapolis. Built on a former railway corridor, this urban rail-trail offers a safe and efficient route for both commuting and recreational cycling. With its lush green surroundings and colorful murals, it’s no wonder the Midtown Greenway is a favorite among locals.

Fun Fact: The Midtown Greenway Coalition, a nonprofit organization, played a significant role in the development of the trail and continues to advocate for its improvement and expansion.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art: With a collection spanning 5,000 years of world history, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the museum offers a diverse and engaging experience
  • Explore the Chain of Lakes: The Chain of Lakes, connected by biking and walking paths, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Cycle around the scenic shores of Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, and Lake of the Isles, or rent a kayak to explore the waters
  • Discover Minnehaha Falls: A short ride from the Midtown Greenway, Minnehaha Falls is a picturesque urban waterfall located within Minnehaha Park. Enjoy the serene surroundings, explore the park’s trails, or grab a bite at the popular Sea Salt Eatery
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The Hangzhou Public Bicycle System, Hangzhou, China

Hangzhou Public Bicycle System

Experience the world’s largest bike-sharing program in Hangzhou, China. With over 80,000 bikes and 3,000 stations, Hangzhou’s Public Bicycle System makes cycling accessible to everyone. Simply rent a bike from one station and drop it off at another, exploring the city at your own pace.

Pro Tip: Make sure to visit the West Lake while in Hangzhou. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage site offers picturesque cycling paths and breathtaking views.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Visit the Lingyin Temple: One of China’s largest Buddhist temples, Lingyin Temple is nestled within a lush forest at the foot of the Feilai Peak. The temple complex is home to impressive pagodas, grottoes, and Buddhist statues
  • Explore the Qinghefang Ancient Street: Travel back in time as you stroll along the historic Qinghefang Ancient Street. This well-preserved area is lined with traditional shops, teahouses, and restaurants, offering a glimpse into Hangzhou’s rich cultural heritage
  • Cycle around the Xixi Wetland Park: An oasis of tranquility, Xixi Wetland Park is home to diverse flora and fauna, as well as picturesque waterways and traditional Chinese architecture. The park’s network of cycling paths offers a serene escape from the bustling city
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The Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Pittsburgh, USA

Three Rivers Heritage Trail

Embrace the beauty of Pittsburgh’s three rivers on the 24-mile-long Three Rivers Heritage Trail. This urban rail-trail hugs the banks of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers, offering stunning waterfront views and connecting a variety of neighborhoods, parks, and cultural attractions. The trail is a delightful mix of urban and natural landscapes, making it an enjoyable ride for cyclists of all levels.

Take a leisurely ride on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and you’ll be amazed at how the trail offers such a peaceful escape amidst the bustling city. The views of the skyline and the historic bridges will no doubt leave a lasting impression on you long after you’ve left the trail behind.

Nearby attractions and activities:

  • Visit the Andy Warhol Museum: Dive into the world of pop art at the Andy Warhol Museum, the largest museum in North America dedicated to a single artist. Explore Warhol’s life and work through an extensive collection of art, film, and archival materials
  • Explore the Strip District: Once an industrial area, Pittsburgh’s Strip District has evolved into a lively marketplace and food lover’s paradise. Sample local favorites like pierogies, Italian pastries, and artisanal cheeses as you browse the eclectic shops and stalls
  • Discover the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: Escape to a world of lush greenery and vibrant blooms at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The conservatory features 15 distinct indoor and outdoor gardens, showcasing a diverse range of plants and flowers from around the globe

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