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Countries all over the world closed their borders. The lockdown came with adverse effects on the people who would otherwise be on the move. Public transport was categorized in the red zone for COVID-19 transmission. Most sporting facilities were closed down. This, according to Eli Elkoubi, explains the surge in cycling, since most people adopted it as a means of transport and a sporting activity.
The summer cycling event around the Great lakes attracted almost double the number of participants in the previous years. Like Cycling Expert Eli Elkoubi says: "Cycling has been underrated in the earlier years".
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Eli Elkoubi believes that cycling is such a sacred activity that blossomed when everything else was going down. His belief is backed up by statistics that indicate that the world was on the move on two wheels, despite the lockdown.
In Hungary, a count of the number of cyclists who used the different Great Lakes routes indicated that, in comparison to the 2019 numbers, Lake Velence witnessed a 200%, Lake Tisza 168%, and Lake Balaton 185%. The route that saw the least growth is Lake Ferto, with a rate of 115%.
France, renowned for cycling tourism, recorded an estimated increase of 29% in the major cycling routes between May and August compared with the 2019 data. Most French citizens in major cities prefer cycling to work.
In Europe, generally, cycling tourism plays a significant role in the economy. Of the 63 Billion Euros total worth of the sector, it takes up more than 50% of the share.
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According to Mr. Elkoubi, Europe's cycling culture is responsible for the decline in the number of people being diagnosed with lifestyle diseases.
"The travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic meant that people spend most of their time indoors. This would have caused another health crisis besides the looming one", said Eli Elkoubi.
To enable more people to cycle and still maintain physical distance, the government developed more routes. Eurovelo, the official cycling network in Europe, reported a 31% increase in cyclists' number of trips post lockdown.
Besides the health benefits, cycling tourism has created more than 500,000 jobs in Europe, both directly and indirectly. These include the sale of bikes and spare parts, repairs, and traffic controllers along the routes.
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