Population: 16,5 million
Bikes: 18 million
New bikes sold a year: 1.7 million
Bikes stolen a year: between 1.2 and 1.4 million
But the number of bikes in the Netherlands has been at that level, thus stable for years, so what explains this gap? According to the chairman of the Dutch Bicycle Union it boils down to this:
- broken bikes are taken off the streets by city services
- abandoned bikes are taken off the streets to be recycled. Read: shredded.
- illegally parked bikes are taken off the streets and are registered to be picked up by the rightful owners, but that hardly ever happens. If so, they are shredded, including perfectly new bikes. Suggestion: resell them.
- Gangs in vans drive around neighborhoods, pick up parked & locked bikes and drive them abroad to be sold. Mostly in Germany and Belgium. It sounds odd, but I’ve experienced the bad end result of this twice myself.
[Update: a related story]
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