Dutch Cycling: Remember the Phone, Forget the Helmet

Late last year an American motorcyclist, on holidays in the Netherlands, was so impressed by the bicycling culture in Amsterdam that he photographed it. In 73 minutes he snapped 82 photos. (1.12 per minute!) And then posted his observations on a website. It is a fascinating peek at how cycling is such an all pervasive part of Dutch life. In particular, Brian Wilson was taken by several aspects of bike culture there. That formal dress (a suit and tie, or a smart dress) was no obstacle to cycling. That more than half of all bikes he saw were transporting more than one person. That he didn’t see one bike helmet, not a one. But he certainly did sight many dogs on bicycles, or in tow. That dynamo style, battery-free lighting systems were all the rage, as were massive chain locks which he figured were themselves worth more than the bike they secured. He also observed a large number of bikes (and trikes) with cargo bins moving kids, groceries and dogs around, heaps of folk using mobile phones whilst pedalling their trusty stead, a multitude of garishly painted and otherwise personalised bicycles (like floral wheel guards to stop those dresses getting entangled). He does mistakenly assume that the many folding bikes on the street had taller seats/saddles to compensate for their smaller wheels (it’s just an optical illusion - you sit no higher on a folder than a standard diamond frame.) We’ve covered these same discussion points before, umpteen times before, but never with so many images. It’s a wonderful gallery of how cities and cycling can happily co-exist. ::Amsterdam Bicycles via ski-epic.

Tags: Amsterdam | Bikes | Netherlands

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