Dutch spending still rising...on bicycles

Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:10am EST
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters Life!) - Recession or not, the cycle-happy Dutch are still spending a lot of money on their bicycles -- nearly 1 billion euros' worth a year, in fact.

About 1.3 million bicycles were sold in the Netherlands last year, at an average price of 713 euros ($1,008) each, an industry association said on Monday.

That led to total revenue of 950 million euros for the year, up 4 percent on 2008, the RAI Vereniging said. The per-bike price was also up 3.5 percent.

The country's flat geography and high population density has made the bicycle one of the primary modes of transportation, with 18,000 km (11,180 miles) of cycle paths nationwide.

Statistics compiled by the International Bicycle Fund show a higher percentage of all trips is made by bike in the Netherlands than any other country in the world. According to Statistics Netherlands, in 2007 nearly one in four Dutch workers commuted by bike.

(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz, editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>A women walks with her bike in a huge bicycle shed near Central Station Amsterdam, The Netherlands January 17, 2007. REUTERS/Koen van Weel</p>