While New York makes do with dodgy, treacherous bike lanes, urban cycling is a breeze in most of Europe. Bike lanes are ample, accessible and exclusively used by the two-wheel set. Another example of European cycling superiority? The European Cycling Federation-sponsored Velo-City conference in Copenhagen, which recently wrapped up and featured 2000 cyclists taking over the city streets.Attendees traveled from 57 countries and the city loaned out 650 bikes for the week-long event. (Bikes are commonplace in Copenhagen. Over 37 percent of all trips are taken by bike in the Scandinavian capitol.)

The Velo-City conference was founded in Bremen, Germany in 1980, has grown along with the movement for urban bike riding. The alleviation of urban congestion, obesity and climate change were among the issues addressed by the international contingent of speakers. The lineup included transportation officials, city planners and marketing strategists.  While the aims are high and visionary, a number of Americans participated, hoping to bring cycling advocacy stateside. We can't leave it all to David Byrne, people. The 2011 conference will be held in Seville, Spain. Start planning your trip.

Read more of Tamara Warren's writing at Gotryke.com