This month, the bicycle celebrates its 200th birthday. While its exact origins are uncertain, we know that in June 1817, the German Baron Karl von Drais tested 'die Laufmaschine', also known as the running machine, velocipede, Draisienne and dandy horse. Von Draise's invention, which featured a steerable front wheel, was to become the forerunner of today’s bicycle.
200 years later, Portugal is European Union's main bicycle exporter, accounting for 15% of all bicycles exported in 2016. It is followed by Italy (14%) and the Netherlands (13%).
The UK is EU's leading bicycle importer, with 18% of all EU bicycle imports going there last year.
92% of all bicycles exported by EU Member States went to other EU countries. The remaining 8% were exported to non-EU countries, in particular to Switzerland (15% of all bicycles exported outside the EU), the United States (11%), and Russia (7%).
42% of the bicycles imported by EU Member States came from outside the EU, mainly from Taiwan (24% of bicycles imported from non-EU countries), Cambodia (18%), Bangladesh (11%) and the Philippines (10%).