The Definition of ‘Real’ Dutch Cycling

Background Reading

Summary

Standing tall on the back of mum’s bicycle. Dutch children have no problem balancing on a bicycle. That’s why this girl doesn’t even hold on to her mother…

Standing tall on the back of mum’s bicycle. Dutch children have no problem balancing on a bicycle. That’s why this girl doesn’t even hold on to her mother…

In Sharp Contrast to Copenhagen

The author of the article above begins:

When compared to other countries The Netherlands has a unique cycling ‘culture’. Three years ago I showed you some typically Dutch cycling traits. Mannerisms you certainly won’t see in countries with a more ‘racing’ type of cycling culture. Even in Denmark or Germany, however, the countries with a culture that comes closest to the Dutch, you will not find people who are always cycling side by side, or together on one bike, holding up an umbrella, or with a dog running alongside of them. To open this new year I would like to show you new peculiarities that could be seen as typically Dutch.

Dutch couples do not only love cycling side by side, they like it even more to cycle hand in hand. And what about cycling with a suitcase in tow? That’s what those suitcase wheels are for, aren’t they?


TakeAways

I Vacuum Copenhagen

I Vacuum Copenhagen

Sounds to me as if living and bicycling in Amsterdam would be a darn sight more romantic and whimsical than in Copenhagen.

Mikael Colville-Andersen Urban Cyclings ‘badboy‘ writes:

I’ve been saying for years that we don’t have bicycle culture in Copenhagen. We just have vacuum cleaner culture. We all have one, we all have learned to use it, we use it. End of story.

It is difficult to tell where American Urban Cycling Culture (if any will be heading). At the moment it is full of folks who are self-styled activists. For them the current trend is to attend as many photo-ops as possible and when available head up some sort of activist group which will ensure that a reporter too lazy to dig up really meaningful stories will have a Plan B, namely interviewing for the umpteenth time a ‘blowhard‘ who tells about their recent trip to the grocery store in the dead of winter on their bicycle.

Wonder when the media types will get wind of the fact that dozens of homeless folks in their area are pushing around shopping carts with all their belongings and riding dilapidated bicycles in deep snow and over ice, sans protection from expensive studded tires.

These folks are not doing what they do to ‘make a statement‘. They do it because that is what they must do. They do not go home to heated apartments and cold bottles of craft-brewed beers. Instead they take the cardboard sheets saved from the past few months and spread them out under viaducts and overpasses to bed down for the night.

And no one ever thinks to ask them if ‘bike lanes are helpful‘. No that perk usually goes to the folks who after getting their tattoos freshened up for the coming summer and their nose rings polished settle in to ‘bike-splain‘ to the motoring population why they are so darned afraid of people passing them too close when riding on Milwaukee Avenue. All of which is pure bullshit!