City of Leipzig: The Place Made for Cycling

By Adam Marsal

”I don’t know Leipzig like the back of my hand yet but one thing I can say after just a year living here: Leipzig is definitely a damn great cycling city,” says twenty-year-old Vincent who refers to himself as a student in a featured article for the We Ride Leipzig magazine.

After moving to Leipzig in the autumn of 2021, he learned to love daily cycling and its flexibility. Vincent describes experiencing a thrill while cycling from one point to another since all the districts are easy to reach within 20 minutes. ”When I compare local cycling infrastructure with the one in Dresden, Leipzig is already perfectly developed,” Vincent told to the printed version of the We Ride Leipzig magazine with a circulation of 2,500 pieces.

The We Ride Leipzig magazine has been focusing mainly on cycling culture in the city since 2016. Founded by photographer Robert Strehler to fight bike theft, it is no longer only about portraying locals but also about creating an independent platform to introduce Leipzig as a cycling city. It aims to build a strong community that shares ideas about daily life on two wheels, developing cycling infrastructure, bike shops and bike-friendly pubs or bike advocacy in traffic hierarchy. The thriving of the magazine aptly illustrates how the cycling community flourishes in Leipzig these days.

The city has good starting conditions for cycling due to its compact urban structure with low gradients as well as the numerous green areas open to cyclists. The total length of cycling facilities in public transport areas grew from 74 km in 1990 to over 400 km today.

In particular, bicycle lanes have been built as short and fast connections along existing and newly built main roads. Even though bicycle facilities need further development, local authorities adopted guidelines that should be improvingthe situation step by step until 2030.

Cycling in Leipzig has been steadily increasing for years, and cycling has become a part of the cityscape. Many of the main roads were provided with cycling markings, and many cycle paths have been structurally separated from pedestrian traffic. The safety of cyclists has been significantly bolstered by applying a speed limit of 30 km/h in many areas. This year, around 40 more such zones will be added in Leipzig, including on busy roads.

All of this made Leipzig one of the most cycling-friendly cities in Germany. In May 2023, Leipzig will host Velo-city, the world cycling summit, where advocates, decision- and policymakers, researchers and industry leaders will meet to shape the future of cycling. More than 1,400 Velo-citizens from over 60 countries will join to discuss the latest trends in the promotion and provision of cycling, active mobility and sustainable urban development.