Last February I wrote a piece called the Bicycle Index and it looks that someone, actually no less than the European Cyclist Federation (ECF), actually listened. Well, maybe that is not exactly the case, but at least now I know that it was a good idea. The ECF created something called the Bicycle Barometer, which includes some of the ideas I mentioned in my blog.
The infographic below ranks all European Union countries according to such indicators such as cycle tourism, cycle advocacy, safety and so on. I think this is a great beginning and I hope that they will expand on these statistics and include few more such as health and economic benefits per country as well as prioritize the importance of each parameter. I trust that someone else will now go ahead and expand the Bicycle Barometer and rank all of the 193 members of the UN. Hopefully, soon the Bicycle Barometer (BB) will became as important measure as is a country`s GNP, GDP and GINI.
Now that the barometer has been established I sure hope that some PhD candidate in statistics will pick up the challenge and go ahead with the more formidable project of creating the Bicycle Happiness Index. What would be the parameters in the Bicycle Happiness Index (BHI)? Here I will take the liberty of duplicating from my original blog. The BHP should measure such criteria as the smoothness of the road surface for the roadies, the frequency of maintenance on bike trails, the amount of elevation that needs to be conquered, the amount of sunshine per year, the amount of wind behind one’s back, the frequency of wonderful pit stops (whether that would be wonderful Italian frappuccinos or a great beer), the number of hotels with bike friendly hosts, the number of traffic jams you will bypass, amount of no-cars roads, and so on.
Of course, the BHI will not be much use to participants taking part on the one of the 7Epics bicycle expeditions. Anyone who has done one of these Epics already knows that Nirvana comes with practice, cycling long distances in a “medative state”, repetition, discomfort and a commitment to go all the way. So enjoy the Barometer of Cycling.