Bicycle Diaries: Vélo<i>mania</i>

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...what Dalí & Hitler
had in common

Rebecca Seal, over at the UK's Observer, highlights some of the fascinating ways bikes have played a key role in the culture and politics of over a dozen countries. Among some of the more amazing things I didn't know:

Salvador Dalí was a real freaky bike freak.
...had an Italian Bianchi cycle in his studio and said he would have liked "the whole of France" to cycle: "The Tour de France on bicycles produces in me such a persistent satisfaction that my saliva flows in imperceptible but stubborn streams."
Bike lanes had Hitler's blessings.
...Germany pioneered the creation of cycle paths in the 1930s - because the Nazi party wanted cyclists off the roads. By 1936 they had outlawed cycling groups.
Bike in Bolivia at your own peril.
The La Paz-to-Coroico route, dubbed "the world's most dangerous road" with a fatality every two weeks, can be cycled with a tour group called Gravity Bolivia. Descending 3,600 metres steeply from the peaks, the narrow track snakes along the side of the mountains, with a perilous drop to one side.

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