As cyclists, we’re all happy to look up the best cities for cycling and perhaps plan our vacations around those destinations, but what about the worst cities? Which cities around the world are awful for cycling? Now, I am not talking about cities within conflict zones and other dangerous locations, just cities we normally wouldn’t mind visiting as tourists. So here we go, in no particular order.
According to Thomas Anderson, a cyclist from Denmark who has cycled around the world, Sydney is the worst city in the world for cycling. Apparently, drivers hate cyclists there and aren’t afraid to dish out verbal abuse, honk or dangerously skim by you as they pass by. The city has even been named “the world’s toughest regime” for cyclists due to an extensive list of fines, including that for adult cyclists not carrying identification.
2. Hong Kong
For more than half the year, this hilly city is so hot and humid that it feels like a sauna – people do not even want to walk outside, let alone bike. In order to cross the multi-lane highways, cyclists would also have to use the pedestrian overpasses, which means carrying their bikes up and down the steps. On the road, cyclists risk their lives with crazy minibus and taxi drivers speeding around, when they aren’t stuck in traffic jams. So those who want to cycle in the city normally venture to specially built recreational areas outside of the city centre or to exclusive private club grounds for that kind of “luxury”.
Traffic conditions in this crowded city are horrid, with massive traffic jams thanks to the lack of adequate public transportation and road engineering geared towards cars. The cycling lanes built for the Commonwealth Games 2010 have fallen into disrepair and are now also used by motorbikes. Add Delhi’s air pollution, which is twice as bad as Beijing’s, and the city is even more of a nightmare to cycle in. Apparently, a study has found that the health benefits of cycling there are cancelled out once you ride your bike for five hours of more per week.