It’s as Dutch as cheese and windmills – cycling.
Did you learn to cycle when you came to the Netherlands or were you already up and running?
Whatever the answer, one thing is for certain – once you are here it is difficult to avoid being sucked into cycling culture.
There are more bikes than people in the Netherlands and there are bikes of all shapes and sizes.
The Here in Holland podcast is on the Joy of Cycling
The podcast is an interview with Samuel Nello-Deakin an expert from the Urban Cycling Institute in Amsterdam
The institute is part of the University of Amsterdam and is an internationally recognised centre of expertise – well, of course, the Netherlands is the cycling capital of the world.
“The thing about cycling in the Netherlands is that is more less impossible to avoid,” says Nello-Deakin.
“Cycling was actually popular throughout most of Europe after World War II but in a lot of places more car orientated policies were implemented.”
“Actually this was happening in the Netherlands too until there was a backlash in the 1970s and after that cycling began to rise in popularity.”
“Of course, the Netherlands is flat too and that helps and Dutch cities lend themselves to cycling because of the relatively short distances in volved,” adds the expert.
E-bikes and apps
With all the bikes whizzing around there are unfortunately accidents and the states show a cyclist dies every two days in the Netherlands.
If you just look at the pure numbers then the Netherlands is the place with the most cycling deaths – but when you take in to account the number of people cycling then the Netherlands scores very well and is very safe for cyclists.”
There are new issues too in the cycling landscape anno 2017 – e-bikes racing around and the rise of people using their mobile phones whilst cycling.
There are a number of campaigns to clamp down on this later phenomenon as figures show young people are at risk of serious injury and even fatal injuries due to staring at mobile screens instead of looking at where they are going.
Even so, cycling in the Netherlands remains one of the most popular activities for internationals and it’s a great way to explore.
Here in Holland is the podcast in English about life with the Dutch – it’s produced by Andy Clark – contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook – website – you can subscribe to get all the podcasts in via your iPhone podcast app or your Android app of choice. Or follow on Soundcloud