sunnuntai 14. lokakuuta 2018

"Build it, and they will come!" Cycling as the most common form of daily transport

It's safe here. Good infrastructure and right attitude instead of helmets.
Everyone does it: on an city bike, foldable eBike, cargo bike with kids or goods. Cycling in the Netherlands is the most common form of daily transport.

"Build it, and they will come" -approach changed the car-centred transportation policies. The new planning ideology began improving the cycling infrastructure in the 70's – leading to a steadily rising  amount of cyclist year after year. (See Wikipedia for current numbers.)

Bike lanes that are separated from other traffic and in many cases one-way; protected intersections with informative bike traffic lights; parking garages at railway stations... you name it. Now they have it all that the other countries are only planning.

World's largest bike garage at Utrecht Centraal.

True, some of the romantic and hipsteric air may be gone with the wind when cycling has become mainstream. In order to keep traffic flowing smooth, no fiddling around is accepted. I found this myself, eg. when I was stopping to take a photo at the wrong side of the bike lane.

Anyway, I learned to ride there in an instant and enjoyed every bit of it. On urban bike highways, on Oude Postweg in beech forest. Below's a short video on this after-work ride around Utrecht.

maanantai 1. lokakuuta 2018

The real heros of the cycling world

National team riders near Lake Mugesera in 2015.

I visited Rwanda last week. I had high hopes on riding there. Maybe I could even join some national Team Africa Rising stars that I saw in 2015. What an honour would that be – their team has skyrocketed and is currently one of the best on the continent.

After all, long working days meant no riding this time. Some bike spotting though. Seeing how people ride in the land of thousand hills made me appreciate their efforts even more.

"Eastman" is a typical bike in Rwanda.

Carbon frame? Gears? That'd be too easy.

Rideable maybe when flat but this country has hills everywhere.