Why is cycling so popular in the Netherlands

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

Moderator: Peak Moderation

User avatar
RenewableCandy
Posts: 12679
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: York

Post by RenewableCandy »

Ah right that must be my view as a townie. I'm not usually walking along the type of roads (e.g. the A64 to Scarborough) that people travel on for Leisure purposes. Fair enough.

But within towns and cities (which is where most of this Dutch-style cycling's going to be happening), my point still stands.
Soyez réaliste. Demandez l'impossible.
Stories
The Price of Time
User avatar
biffvernon
Posts: 18539
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Post by biffvernon »

Maybe this film answers the question at the start of this thread:

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/short-f ... video.html
marknorthfield
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Bracknell

Post by marknorthfield »

JohnB wrote:Bracknell had quite a good network (no idea what it's like now), partly thanks to a late friend who was the local Friends of the Earth Cycle Campaigner. It had parts where there was a "road" for bikes, with a footpath with a raised curb for pedestrians. So where did the bloody pedestrians walk? :evil:.
Bracknell is still thoroughly well-endowed with cycle paths separate from the road network, either adjacent to pavements or as wide combined paths. It does rather help that the place is very spread out with a lot of open green space. I can't say that they're ever what I would call thronging, but they're certainly used.

The slight downside is that ice and leaves (the borough is called Bracknell Forest for a reason...) can make certain sections hazardous during the winter months, as I found out to my cost last Nov when I broke my collarbone on an underpass cycling home from the station. I'm only going to use my mountain bike for this part of the year now after that experience! (And I just won't cycle at all if there's likely to be ice. It's just not worth it.)
marknorthfield
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Bracknell

Post by marknorthfield »

Oh, and yes, of course pedestrians like to walk in the cycle lanes when they are segregated. More often than not, in my experience. But I don't see it as something worth getting angry about, although if it's round a corner (as with some of the underpasses here) I might get mildly irritated and sigh heavily. I've even been known to tut and shake my head on occasion.

Meanwhile, I have a bell and/or my voice, I have lights and reflective clothing, and this strange old-fashioned thing called politeness which seems to work marvellously well in many situations. When I am on a road, I tend to assume all drivers are distracted idiots. Most of them aren't, of course, but it's a good rule of thumb for survival when there are hunks of metal moving around at potentially lethal speeds.

(As someone who only learned to drive about 5 years ago, I must admit driving would be incredibly addictive if it weren't for my stronger desire to do as little as possible. The ability to roam so easily and cheaply is one I suspect most people around here will be extremely reluctant to give up.)
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14634
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: here

Post by emordnilap »

There was this article earlier this year in the Irish Times and it caused a mini furore.

We have similar but opposite problems where I live (a) of joggers insisting on using the cycle path when there's an empty footpath and (b) motorists who think they're being good by stopping to answer their phones - on the cycle path - rather than the usual practice of driving and phoning.

Indeed, recently I saw a motorist parked, engine running, on the phone, on the cycle path and blocking a side road too. Classic.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
woodburner
Posts: 4127
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:45 pm

Post by woodburner »

emordnilap wrote:Indeed, recently I saw a motorist parked, engine running, on the phone, on the cycle path and blocking a side road too. Classic.
Three offences in one then. The one he'd get clobbered for is the phone I think.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14634
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: here

Post by emordnilap »

She. :lol:
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
User avatar
PS_RalphW
Posts: 5913
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Cambridge

Post by PS_RalphW »

Only a slight exaggeration , I once saw a woman with two kids on her cycle, no helmets or lights, dark clothing, talking on mobile, cycling at night the wrong way down a one way street.
User avatar
biffvernon
Posts: 18539
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Post by biffvernon »

Image
woodburner
Posts: 4127
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:45 pm

Post by woodburner »

biffvernon wrote:Maybe this film answers the question at the start of this thread:

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/short-f ... video.html
Excellent! I note many cycles have no brakes, not on the handlebars anyway, and nobody wears crash helmets, and people cycle in everyday clothes. When you look at what goes on in Cambridge, you have aggressive lycra clad nutters in helmets, intent on riding through anything which gets in their way, and in London things don't appear much better.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
User avatar
PS_RalphW
Posts: 5913
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Cambridge

Post by PS_RalphW »

Most European bikes have back peddle brakes. Never caught on in this country - we like to back peddle:)

Cambridge has every imaginable style of cyclist. I once watched a lady vicar in full regalia sail gracefully through a red light and nearly cause a pile-up.

The route I take now has generally law abiding and respectful cyclists, probably because the cycle paths are of sufficient quality that they can make safe and reasonably paced forward progress. A few lycra clad roadies refuse to use it.
woodburner
Posts: 4127
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:45 pm

Post by woodburner »

While the Amsterdam video might blow your mind, this is Britain's mind blowing contribution .

Obvious to me a "traveller" (I could say pikey as her dad doesn't know who I am). There are references to The Shrek in the comments. :lol:
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
Post Reply