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25 Useful Cycling Statistics in Bulgaria


Exploring the cycling landscape in Bulgaria unveils a vibrant and evolving scene that encapsulates both leisurely pursuits and practical commuting endeavors.

With an amalgamation of scenic terrains and a burgeoning cycling culture, Bulgaria has become a haven for cyclists of various interests and skill levels.

 Amidst this backdrop, uncovering useful statistics illuminates the impact and dynamics of cycling within the country. From infrastructure development to participation trends, these insights paint a comprehensive picture of Bulgaria’s cycling realm, showcasing its significance and potential for enthusiasts and policymakers alike.

How many people cycle regularly in Bulgaria?


Older studies, such as a 2004 estimation, suggested approximately 5% of Bulgarians engaged in regular cycling, though this data may need to depict the present scenario accurately. More regionally focused reports, like a 2022 survey in Sofia, revealed a more specific perspective, indicating that around 3% of residents regularly used bicycles for commuting or leisure.

Examining sales and imports provides an alternative lens, showcasing an increasing trend. Recent years have witnessed a surge in bicycle sales and imports, signaling a growing interest in cycling across the country.

However, challenges persist, particularly in terms of infrastructure limitations, with rural regions facing obstacles despite ongoing improvement efforts. Safety concerns regarding traffic can also act as a deterrent for regular cycling.

Despite these hurdles, a palpable shift is evident. Growing awareness of cycling’s benefits has contributed to increased participation, especially in tourism and recreational activities, marking a positive trend in Bulgaria’s cycling landscape.


How many cyclists are killed on roads each year in Bulgaria?


In 2018, Bulgaria recorded 17 cyclist fatalities, the latest available data according to the European Road Safety Observatory.

This equates to a rate of 2.4 cyclist fatalities per million inhabitants, notably lower than the EU average of 3.1.

However, despite this relatively lower rate, Bulgaria ranked second-highest in the EU for overall road deaths in 2018, with 78 deaths per million inhabitants, signifying an elevated level of road safety risk across the board.

Cyclist fatalities constitute 4.5% of the total road fatalities in Bulgaria, slightly below the EU average of 7.9%.

The majority of cyclist fatalities in Bulgaria occur on rural roads (76%), followed by urban roads (24%), with no reported incidents on motorways. This differs from the EU average, where a larger proportion of cyclist fatalities transpire on urban roads (53%) than on rural roads (38%).


Mountain biking statistics in Bulgaria


Mountain biking thrives as a diverse and beloved sport in Bulgaria, offering an array of trails catering to various riding levels and preferences. Here are some key statistics reflecting the mountain biking scene:

  • The TransRhodopi route showcases Bulgaria’s mountainous beauty, boasting the highest elevation gain for a mountain bike trail at 25,892 feet. This trail traverses the Rhodope Mountains from west to east, providing an exhilarating riding experience.
  • Pamporovo Bike Park stands as Bulgaria’s largest bike park, featuring 40 kilometers of trails, five lifts, and 14 distinct tracks tailored for downhill, enduro, and cross-country biking enthusiasts.
  • The renowned Vitosha 100km mountain bike race draws over 1,600 riders annually, charting a scenic loop around the Vitosha Mountains near Sofia, marking a highlight in Bulgaria’s biking calendar.

Insights from platforms like Trailforks highlight Bulgaria’s robust mountain biking infrastructure, boasting 348 trails covering over 683 miles, indicative of a well-established and expanding network. For detailed information, engaging with local mountain bike clubs or tourism boards provides granular insights into specific regions’ trails, events, and biking activities.


Bike theft statistics in Bulgaria


Addressing bike theft in Bulgaria unveils a common challenge faced by many nations, yet the specific data for Bulgaria still needs to be improved.

According to the European Road Safety Observatory, 1,036 bicycle thefts were reported to the police in Bulgaria in 2018, corresponding to a rate of 147 thefts per million inhabitants—below the EU average of 296.

However, this figure may not fully capture the actual extent, given the likelihood of unreported or unnoticed incidents.

Indications suggest a potential rise in bike theft, particularly in urban areas where cycling popularity is on the ascent.

A 2020 news article reported a 40% increase in bike thefts in Sofia compared to the previous year. The article highlighted challenges faced by cyclists, including insufficient secure parking facilities, limited awareness of bike registration schemes, and low police prioritization of bike theft issues. This underscores the need for heightened awareness and effective measures to curb the growing menace of bike theft in Bulgaria.


How dangerous is cycling in Bulgaria?


Understanding the safety landscape of cycling in Bulgaria involves considering various contributing factors and mitigating measures.

Contributing Factors to Risk:

  • Traffic infrastructure: While urban and tourist areas invest in cycling infrastructure, many roads need dedicated lanes, necessitating cyclists to share space with vehicles.
  • Traffic safety culture: Varying driver behaviors toward cyclists can present challenges, requiring cautious navigation on the road.
  • Terrain and road conditions: Bulgaria’s scenic routes might pose challenges with steep inclines, sharp turns, or unpaved roads.

Mitigating Measures to Reduce Risk:

  • Personal preparation: Selecting appropriate routes, utilizing safety gear, and adhering to safe riding techniques significantly minimize risks.
  • Cyclist community: Local cycling groups provide valuable insights on safe routes and traffic regulations.
  • Police and safety initiatives: Authorities are striving to enhance cycling safety through campaigns, enforcement, and infrastructure development.

Overall, cycling in Bulgaria, like anywhere, holds inherent risks. However, informed precautions, proper gear, and vigilance on the road substantially mitigate these risks, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable cycling experience. Specific recommendations include researching routes, enhancing visibility, adhering to traffic rules, employing caution, maintaining equipment, and seeking advice from local cycling communities.


Road biking statistics in Bulgaria


Road biking in Bulgaria presents an enchanting avenue to explore its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage, backed by several intriguing statistics and insights:

  • Bulgaria witnessed substantial growth in motorway infrastructure, expanding from 273 km in 1990 to 806 km by 2021, offering enhanced routes for road biking enthusiasts.
  • The renowned Vitosha 100km race entices over 1,600 riders annually, encompassing a captivating loop around the Vitosha Mountains near Sofia, marking a pinnacle event in Bulgaria’s road biking calendar.

However, road safety statistics indicate a contrasting picture. In 2018, Bulgaria’s average road death rate stood at 78 deaths per million inhabitants, ranking as the second-highest in the EU. Cyclists constituted 4.5% of the total road fatalities in Bulgaria, slightly lower than the EU average of 7.9%. These statistics underscore the need for continuous efforts to improve road safety and ensure a secure environment for road biking enthusiasts in Bulgaria.


How many people cycle to work in Bulgaria?


Cycling as a means of commuting in Bulgaria is a facet with evolving statistics:

  • An older 2004 study estimated approximately 5% of Bulgarians engaged in regular cycling. However, this data may need to align with the present scenario due to its outdated nature.
  • Specific regional reports, such as a 2022 survey in Sofia, shed light on more current insights, indicating that around 3% of residents use bicycles regularly for both commuting and leisure purposes.
  • Notably, the surge in bicycle sales and imports in Bulgaria in recent years signifies a burgeoning interest in cycling among the populace.

These observations hint at a shifting landscape regarding cycling as a mode of commuting in Bulgaria, emphasizing the need for updated and comprehensive data to grasp the current scenario accurately.


Cycle Participation Statistics in Bulgaria


Accessing precise cycle participation statistics for Bulgaria proves challenging due to limited available data. However, insights from various sources illuminate certain aspects.

The European Road Safety Observatory reported 1,036 bicycle thefts to the police in Bulgaria in 2018, reflecting 147 thefts per million inhabitants—lower than the EU average of 296. Yet, this figure may not entirely depict the true landscape of cycle participation, considering potential unreported incidents.

A study in the journal Transport Reviews revealed that merely 1.8% of all trips in Bulgaria involved bicycles, significantly below the EU average of 8.5%.

This indicates a comparatively lower prevalence of cycling in the country, signalling scope for improvement in infrastructure, policies, and cultural promotion of cycling as a mode of transport.

While specific data on bicycles sold in Bulgaria is unavailable, overarching trends indicate a growing inclination towards cycling, notably in urban locales.

Urban areas view cycling as a health-conscious, eco-friendly, and cost-effective alternative to driving or public transportation, contributing to its rising popularity.


Final Verdict


In conclusion, this exploration into Bulgaria’s cycling landscape unveils a complex tapestry of statistics and trends.

While challenges such as limited infrastructure and lower cycling participation rates persist, there are promising signs of a shifting mindset, particularly in urban areas where cycling is gaining traction as a viable and sustainable mode of transport.

The lower bicycle theft rates compared to the EU average hint at a potential for increased cycling enthusiasm.

As Bulgaria continues to grapple with these dynamics, it becomes clear that concerted efforts in infrastructure development, policy enhancements, and cultural promotion are essential.

By embracing and advancing cycling-friendly initiatives, Bulgaria has the opportunity to transform its landscape, encouraging more individuals to choose bicycles for their daily commute and leisure, fostering a healthier, more sustainable future.


Arjun Mertiya

Arjun Mertiya


Since Arjun was a young child, bikes have played a big part of his life. He races bikes, rides bikes and also loves writing about bikes. It’s always just been a way of life for Arjun and a passion that he loves to share with others..

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