From the Washington Post:
For Bicyclists, a Widening Patchwork World – washingtonpost.com
Antony Lo is one happy biker. He is 60 but looks younger, with a body buffed by commuting 130 miles a week on his bike. He is also president of Taiwan-based Giant, the world’s largest bicycle company, where sales are soaring, helped along by global anxiety over oil prices. With undisguised glee, Lo says: “High-priced gasoline is here to stay. I tell my people we are just at the beginning of a very big cycling boom.”
Boom it is. The number of cyclists has doubled in a decade in cities as disparate as Berlin and Bogota. Global bicycle production has increased for six consecutive years, according to a report by the Earth Policy Institute. Sales at Giant have doubled since 2002 and continue to accelerate, up 24 percent in the first half of this year.
And later in the article we find this:
Germans are 10 times more likely than Americans to ride a bike and three times less likely to get hurt while doing so. On any given workday, more commuters park their bikes at train and subway stations in Tokyo (704,000) than cycle to work in the entire United States (535,000), according to the Tokyo government and the U.S. Census.
I don’t think Germans are necessarily better bike-riders, but that German motorists are better at sharing the road with bikers and more bike-paths are available.