The Dutch make it look so easy and effortless!

Posted on May 27, 2010 by sonjabarrie

Tim found this video while playing with Stumbleupon (I think he is addicted to the site ;o)

It is pretty cool really, having cycled in Utrecht it brings back some really good memories.  They are so geared up there for cycling and I always thought it was amazing that they have their own traffic lights! I guess it helps that the land is pretty flat as it does make for easier cycling but the bikes they ride are really heavy duty beasts.

There is a flat storage area behind the seat and it is used for everything, even carrying passengers, you see little kids just sitting sideways while someone else is pedaling the bike, see the woman at time 00:16/01:60 she has a little girl in pink behind her, she goes by fast but it is the normal way to carry kids. Ive seen a bike with one adult and three kids on it, one on the handlebars, one on the back and a baby in a bike seat attached to the front frame.  Amazing but I guess if you grow up doing it the whole thing becomes second nature.

As these riders have their own bike lane and very rarely interact with traffic they don't need helmets as such, most kids are riding their own bike by the time they are 5 or less.  At the train stations you can see literally thousands of bikes parked, it's quite a sight.

Unfortunately America is built around the car so riding a bike here is definitely flirting with death!  We rode all over Amsterdam and it is definitely the best way to view the city, not only do you get to see more because you don't get as tired as you do walking but you find little out of the way places you didn't even know existed.

The best find for us that we rode to by far was the "Anne Frank Museum", an amazing place.

I know some of you will be berating the fact that they don't wear helmets so I included this piece and where you can find the actual report:

"Cycling in the Netherlands is much safer than in the USA. The Netherlands has the lowest non-fatal injury rate as well as the lowest fatality rate, while the USA has the highest non-fatal injury rate as well as the highest fatality rate. Indeed, the non-fatal injury rate for the USA is about 30 times higher than for the Netherlands.

Injury rate per million km cycled: USA 37.5; NL 1.4
Fatality rate per 100 million km cycled: USA 5.8; NL 1.1"

From: Pucher, John and Buehler, Ralph (2008) 'Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany'.
http://policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/puc…

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