We live on a bicycle planet

According to Jody Rosen, a writer for The New York Times, we live on a bicycle planet.

Across the world, more people use bicycles — for transportation, recreation, and their livelihood — than any other vehicle. In his new book, Two Wheel Goods: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, Rosen attempts to ‘de-quaintify’ the bike, from its invention in 1817 to its current status as a virtuous machine that can save cities and the environment.

If the book piques your interest, please check out The War on Cars, an excellent podcast about the epic, hundred years war between the car and the city. A chat with Jody Rosen is one of over 80 podcasts you can listen to at your leisure.

Win a ‘You’d be Happier Biking’ T-shirt

We have some War on Cars merch to give away. If you’d like to win the T-shirt pictured above, please leave us a message at the bottom of the page.

Is a desire to shift away from personal cars in the zeitgeist?

Whether or not the 20s come to be defined by a global move towards active travel remains to be seen – perhaps future generations will find it hard to believe that individuals were permitted to drive private cars into towns and cities at will, just as today’s teenagers are surprised their parents could once smoke cigarettes on planes and in cinemas.

Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester are among cities trying to solve the air pollution crisis, reduce road danger and promote liveable streets through car-free days, bans on diesel vehicles, blocking off zones to traffic for certain hours of the day and imposing charges. A series of experiments to redefine what is important to our lives in towns and cities – unfortunately, with little political will or budget from central government, there is no consensus.

The Dutch have a 50-year head start on us in this regard and yet they see their work to promote alternatives to car use in urban areas as an ongoing project.


The centre of Dutch city Delft is almost entirely pedestrianised

The Dutch Fietsersbond (Cyclists’ Union) represents the interests of cyclists in the Netherlands by lobbying, and working with, all levels of government on urban planning, policies, and laws to improve cycling conditions and make Dutch cities, towns and rural areas safer and easier for anyone who rides a bike: approximately 5 million Dutch folk ride every day out of the country’s total population of 16.8 million.

Fietsersbond spokesperson Vim Bot, told us: “For us it’s clear that we must further reduce the speed of cars in cities. There’s no real room for cars in cities. They are not made for cities, cities are not made for cars. So we must make more of the space available for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Watch the documentary about road danger Stop Killing our Children

Stop Killing our Children examines how road danger damages us all, whatever our age and however we travel, and questions our collective blindness to both its cause and remedy.The 40-minute, crowdfunded film is narrated by the BBC’s John Simpson and features interviews with Chris Boardman, Dr Rachel Aldred, Dr Ian Walker, George Monbiot and the founders of the Stop de Kindermoord movement amongst others. Please help turn the tide against road danger. Please watch and share the film Stop Killing our Children

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover  and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.


  1. Darren C


    Yes please, the website description says it all:
    “Inspired by the work of the Variable Message Board street artist known as Bikesy, the front of this soft, 100% cotton t-shirt is emblazoned with The War on Cars badge, and the back offers a self-help message to gridlocked motorists as you glide past them on your bicycle.”

  2. Stephen


    I live in Cambridge, the UK’s capital of cycling!

    People actually ride bikes to get around and many families don’t have cars!


  3. Mark


    I have been encouraging non cyclists into commuting by bike for years. I got hit by a car in February whilst riding on a poorly designed cycle path……. We must have well designed cycling infrastructure and rules to protect cyclists to really encourage more into cycling safely…….

    • Andy Brown


      What it says on the tea shirt…

  4. Dr Santosh Kumar


    Every day, I cycle to work from Abingdon to Harwell campus in Oxfordshire. I ride because it keeps me fit and healthy while also helping to achieve the Net Zero goal and save our planet. In most cases, In most cases, the most difficult aspect of biking is not the cold, darkness, wind, or rain, but the lack of proper cycle paths.

    • Helen


      Oh for more carless cities. I dream of such places…

      • Derek Brooks


        Keep the Wheels are turning.
        Save our world from burning.
        It’s better by bike for certain.
        Love your bike and love your life.

  5. Steve


    Great article and interesting comments. Thanks. We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s a journey and certainly one which is better by bike!

  6. Craig


    Let’s hope the government invests more in cycling infrastructure and also driver training?!

    Or else just ban all cars!!!

  7. Peter Clark


    Good article. Cool prize

  8. james


    if i cycled more i wouldn’t have to get the extra large size

    • Andy


      Nice book and podcast recommendation too!

  9. Judith Rout


    I’m always happier on my bike!

  10. Tommy Knowland


    Happiness is certainly bicycle shaped

  11. John


    I am happier biking

  12. Margaret Turner


    Better by Bike:
    Cleaner, Greener,
    Quicker, Quieter,
    Happier, Healthier –
    So you
    Live Longer,
    And so do other creatures…

  13. SUE


    i feel happy on my e-bike especially with my eta breakdown cover

    • Philip Gregg


      I like the T shirt and would like to win one. Size large.

  14. Bryn Gwyndaf Jones


    A brilliant article & book!

  15. Richard


    XL please!

  16. Colin


    go on, make me a happier biker 😉

  17. Alastair Seagroatt


    Already so happy on my bike, be good to send the message to others!

  18. Henry Partridge


    Great podcast. Enjoyed the description of a bike as ‘An ever saddled horse that eats nothing’.

  19. Py



  20. Bazzer


    New T-Shirts always welcome and I like the message – though black is not the best colour for being seen on the road!

  21. Tim Earl


    Swipe me! Life’s a rum go, Guv’nor, and no mistakin’ it.

  22. Mags


    I would be happier CYCLING (biking = motor bikes) in a hi-viz colour, actually, but a new tee shirt is always welcome

  23. Frank Lee


    On yer bike!

  24. Les Gunbie


    Bike to the future … surely that’s the one …

  25. James


    I know it is more fun on a cycle than by car and it would be nice if I could tell others the T shirt would make this easier!

  26. Ema A


    Well that gives it away…

  27. Gary Outram


    I’m happy walking.

    I’m happier biking.

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