I've been blessed to have just ridden the Alps/Dolomites in 5 countries by bike. I won't get into the absolute wonders of actually riding the ribbons of perfect roads there, I want to say how the overall positive and automatic acceptance of bikes on the continent has glaringly pointed out how much of an uphill battle we riders have here, from not only government, but lack of public understanding towards 2 wheeled powered vehicles.
The differences are huge!! Bikes are a part of the culture there, and the people genuinely see them as a need to prevent gridlock, as well as save money. It's not unusual to see up to 250 yards of bikes parked along city streets, commuters at work. Up to 50% of all vehicles are bikes, even in copuntries like Germany and Austra where they too have a limited riding season. Bikes have free rein to lane split in cities as well as country side, cars almost exclusively give way to bikes when the bike passes. Bikes freely ride up the center or along the side of traffic to the front of stop lights. It was VERY refreshing, and I must say after taking out my RC30 yesterday, I will have to do a serious re-wire to adapt to the pre-historic road travel customs we have here.
Very sad, I don't know how it will change here, but I'll just confirm that it is us who are different from everyone else, after riding Wales, England, Scotland, IOM, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Italy, and all through California. We are the ones who stand out as behind the times.