Sunday, June 01, 2014

The cycle of life

I discovered last week, during my first visit to the Netherlands, that it is true - their streets are cycle friendly, and they cycle in huge numbers.

A few observations.

They have clearly separated cyclists from pedestrians from trams and from cars. In that order of priority. 

They reduce the barriers to cycling, not just by having cycle paths but by having lots of bike storage at your destination.

The locals don't have fancy bikes, don't dress for cycling and largely don't wear helmets. In many cases their bikes are without gears (it is very flat) and rather ratty. They have custom baskets or designs for carrying children and shopping. 

I'd be interested in their overall health statistics given the lack of helmets, but I suspect there may be fewer per capita accidents given the urban design.

In the rain they just grimace or raise a brolly (I saw this first hand!).

My anecdotal observations was of a very fit people and one in which good design facilitated good manners.

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