Bulgarian Bike Business Boom
Our last mention of Bulgaria on TreeHugger was to infer its rail system was superior to the US. Now it seems that the country has a foot in door of another significant transport mode—bicycle manufacture. Production is anticipated to increase by 40% this year.
Seems that Bulgaria is the "only EU member state where most bicycles are local production." Of the 450,000 bikes made there last year, 100,000 were ridden by Bulgarians themselves, with the remainder mostly sold into Europe. An example of the increase in home-grown use of bikes, has the city council of the country's capital, Sofia, allocating 5.3 million leva (~$4.2 Million USD) to the building of two new bicycle lanes in its 2008 budget.
Bulgaria's six bike makers sound optimistic, expecting to make more bicycles in the future, citing an "increased focus on healthy living and environment in recent years." Plus they reckon they have an advantage over bikes from China because they can ship anywhere in Europe within a week. Via the Sofia Echo