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Almost everywhere – bar China where there are now 4.6 million cars on ­Beijing’s roads alone – city dwellers are taking to their bicycles in increasing numbers. The health and environmental benefits hardly need repeating, but it’s the daily experience – the feeling of being connected to your surroundings and ­arriving at work alert – that is the most tangible plus, turning first-time commuters into cycling evangelists.

It’s not necessarily about Lycra louts and battling traffic. As trailblazers such as Minneapolis and Copenhagen – the birthplace…

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