With its 535-km—and growing—bicycle network, popular Bixi bike-sharing program and vocal pro-pedaling lobby, Montreal tops North American cities on a new index of the best urban cycling centres. The Bicycle-Friendly Cities 2011 index, compiled by a Danish consulting firm, looked at 80 major cities around the world. Montreal ranked No. 8, best in North America, and with a bicycle infrastructure that “should embarrass other cities on that continent,” according to the compilers of the index. Still, the consultants found room for improvement, suggesting Montreal put bike lanes on both sides of designated streets, for safety reasons, rather than sticking with the current bi-directional lanes on just one side. The top three cycling cities were in Europe: Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Barcelona. But they were followed, perhaps surprisingly, by Tokyo, just a notch ahead of Berlin.