I've seen Dutch pedalling in all weathers - it is a very rainy climate - they wear special ponchos that are longer in the front (that cover their arms when pedalling). These can be bought in general goods shops such as HEMA and aren't very expensive.
That is great, as a lot of those kids do look a bit young to be commuting on their own. It would also keep the kids occupied, and fighting less, which is why the tall blonde young woman in charge of the vehicle can be smiling.
As for adults, there are already vehicles for two adults side by side, or more, in particular for blind or visually-impaired people who want to cycle.
They have 8 stores in France at the moment and are opening another half dozen this year. The current goal is to put one in each of the big Paris train stations. They just opened one in the shopping mall at Gare du Nord and there will also be one at the Coeur Saint Lazare mall opening later this month in the restructured Saint Lazare station.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Mar 11, 2012 7:54:01 GMT
I think it looks great, in my region we have the odd cycle path/psychopaths...but they're pretty sporadic and not a cohesive system. They only seem to work where they are divided from the roads by a grass verge or some other physical boundary tho, the ones that are just divided from the main road by painted lines seem to be flagrantly disregarded by drivers of vehicles. I would definitely ride a bike to and from work if I considered that the other road users would take the cycle paths seriously.
At my age I think one of those lovely tricycles with a basket on the front would be ideal...and I'm unlikely to wear a cycle helmet but would wear a straw hat if it was sunny. Bicycle clips tho...I would deffo wear those....
Yes, unfortunately there is no cohesive cycle path system in Britain - indeed without proper infrastructure - and respect for cyclists - it isn't possible to develop "all ages" cycling, and most cyclists are young or middle-aged men (mamils - middle-aged men in lycra). The push for dedicated infrastructure in the Netherlands began in the 1970s after a spike in deaths of children hit by cars, as postwar prosperity was greatly increasing the number of cars. There are some positive signs - the conservative Times getting onside for safe cycling facilities after a young woman working for the paper was gravely injured, and of course petrol costs will only rise, meaning more "ordinary people" will opt to cycle to work or studies, or combine (folding) bikes with trains or other public transport.
Cheery, often in the Netherlands urban cycling paths (where there is no room to put a grass verge) are slightly raised above the roads for motor traffic, and they are another colour - typically a reddish-brown colour, most usually located between streets and pavements (sidewalks).
Adult tricycles are great for older people or anyone with balance problems, and are also very handy for carrying large amounts of shopping - great for gardeners! They can be heavy for climbing hills though, if you live in a hilly area. A solution to that is a trike with an electric assist - not electric bikes that nobody pedals; that is silly - but just an assist for hills or against a strong wind (Not many hills in the Netherlands except in the very south, but very strong winds from the North Sea).
I most often wear a skirt so no need for cycle clips, however I do have them for times I'm wearing jeans or other trousers. Dutch bikes of course often have full chain and skirt guards (also known as "coat guards" because men and women alike used to cycle in the wintertime wearing those long woollen overcoats), making clips superfluous.
David Hembrow is a Brit living in the Netherlands who has been writing a blog - with a Dutch friend, Marc Wagenuur - for some years about Dutch cycling provision as well as the situation in Britain and how to improve it. www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/ He stopped blogging for a while as the research and writing was taking up too much of his time, and like most of us, he has to earn his living! But so many people were sad that he decided to keep on blogging, but less frequently.
A pic of Dutch people cycling on upright bicycles in ordinary clothes (think they might be Opa and Oma with teen grandkids) and athletic cyclists racing or training in "kit": tinyurl.com/DutchyBikers
We have more cycle paths (and more utilitarian cyclists) than most places in Canada, but we are also very far from a comprehensive system - or all paths ploughed in the wintertime, as they are many places in Scandinavian countries!
I am recycling a pic from my Latvian thread on request of Kerouac!!!
few words about the cycling situation in Latvia! It is very dangerous!!!!!!! Mostly in big cities! There are few bicycle tracks and most of the courageous cyclers are struck down by some big SUV. My friend has been injured once, but he still insists on moving by bike! But as soon as you leave the big cities it becomes a cyslers paradise - Latvia is an almost total flatland, you will find hardly any cyclist tracks, but in the countryside every track is good. The most famous route from Riga is to the seaside - to Jurmala. In 1,5-2 hours you are on the beach. And there is an actual cyclists track there! I live 3 hours outside Riga (by bike) and here in summertime it is the perfect wehicle. We go along the beach, in the pine forest, to the market. You do have to lock the bike well if you leave it around!
Thank you, liga! I see that there is a cycle path there, but it and more particularly the sidewalk for pedestrians are too narrow. One pedestrian could walk, but not a couple of friends talking, much less a family group or people pushing babies in strollers. It's a first step.
If you go to the copenhagenize.com blog (from Denmark) you will find links to Baltic countries too. The countryside ride sounds lovely.
*sigh* If there's one thing I miss about Amsterdam, it's the cycling! Here's a cool blog about cycling in Amsterdam: amsterdamize.com/
And for those who haven't been there and want to see what it is like: vimeo.com/amsterdamize There are some really cool videos! My favourite one is the 'side saddle hop' - it makes me giggle each time I watch it cause I (tried) to teach this techniques to countless visitors and foreign friends.
HEMA is my favourite store in Holland, in the 90's they really hyped things up and have lots of stylish stuff, reasonable prices and of course all the bike gear. I dearly missed that when I tried to buy fenders for my bicycle here in the U.S. In Holland I'd just stop by HEMA or the local bicycle shop. Here, even with three different bicycle shops it turned out to be a major endeavour cause the parts are not standardised. Next I went off to try to find rain pants, but to no avail - they're all too short and on top of that cost an arm and a leg. Again, I missed HEMA with those 10 quid rain trousers that are made for tall people and are waterproof. Those ponchos I never liked btw. cause on a windy day you just keep fighting with it to stay down and not fly right into your face.
Has anyone ever noticed the lockers Dutch use? Bike theft is rampant, especially in the big cities and so often you'll see some dreary, old bike with a massive locker or two. In fact, whenever my bike was stolen, I tended to mourn that 80euro locker and not the 25euro bike
www.capitalbikeshare.com/ Washington D.C. started this some time ago and the city also tries to create more bicycle paths. I've thought about becoming a member and cycle instead of using the metro when I'm in town.
Those are the bicycles from the Montréal bikeshare called Bixi, inspired by Vélib and other schemes. They are made in Québec. There are also Capital(e) share bikes in Ottawa, and London's Boris (Barclay) bikes are also made in Québec, though (quite rightly) some people would rather see them made closer by. Québec does have a competitive advantage for aluminium products because of our relatively cheap hydro-electricity.
I have posted several items from Amsterdamize. Unfortunately Marc has been rather amiss in posting, probably because he is in love, and busy with work not directly related to cycling promotion. I am looking forward to new Amsterdamize posts.
Almost all the Dutch cycling clothing is too long for me. Everything there is made for tall people. I tried to buy a reconditioned second-hand bicycle at a social-economy workshop (think it helps people reintegrate the workforce) near where I stay when there, but they were all to large for me. Of course these cost more than 25€, more like 100. I'd be leery of the provenance of a 25€ bicycle...
I thought that the capitalbikeshare was inspired by some other project but didn't know the bikes were made in Quebec!
The size of the bicycles, indeed...made for tall people. Here in the US I had to buy a men's bicycle cause all the female bicycles were too small for me. Funny world it is. Another peculiar thing in Holland is that some women will mount a special 'skirt saddle' on their bicycle. An excellent invention for women who want to comfortably cycle in a skirt. Never seen that anywhere else!
Our Bixi bikes are made in Québec - in the Saguenay, a region where there are large aluminium plants due to the cheap hydroelectricity (of course that can be shipped anywhere, but the plants started up there before there was the current extensive Hydro Québec system). They are made of non-standard parts, for the same reason as Vélibs, and have been purchased by several other cities - Ottawa and Washington DC, but also London (though understandably, many Londoners think they should have been built closer to home).
Some of these bikes HAVE been stolen, but tend to wind up very far away, in countries where one still has the local blacksmith who can repair and build parts to replace broken ones.
Who knows where this advanced cyclepath is situated?
Google can't find any larger copies, but tells me it's on a Dutch blog about cycling. Takes a bit of digging around his photo collection, but he says it's an EU-funded development in the (in)felicitously-named Peniscola in Spain: