Wednesday 14 January 2009


There are many excuses for not cycling. Most of them are the same in all countries, and we'll all have heard people make these excuses.

The cards shown here are one set from a "happy families" game given out to primary school children in the Netherlands as part of the school traffic education.

Traffic education is part of the curriculum here (it doesn't come out of cycle funding) and covers all sorts of things about walking, cycling and driving. There is quite a bit of emphasis on cycling because of course that is how most children get to school each day. Most of the cards are about cycling.

The set is called "unhealthy excuses" and deals with various excuses that children might make to get a lift to school instead of cycling. Each excuse is untrue. Clockwise from the top left:
  1. The car is much quicker (by design in this country, cycling within town is generally quicker than driving).
  2. My bag is much too heavy
  3. It's too far ("Dad, do you know how far that walk is ? It's 50000 centimetres!")
  4. It's raining ("I just can't wear this rain jacket").
None of these excuses are good enough for Dutch school children, and I don't really think they are very good excuses for adults either...

It is perhaps of interest that there is no excuse in the set of cycling being "too dangerous". A feeling of danger is the main reason for people not cycling elsewhere, but generally people feel safe here.

There are quite a few posts about school travel on this blog, including one showing children arriving by bike at a primary school when the temperature is -2 C.


Anonymous said...

Thats nice. I came over your blog last day, nice work! I will start to read more and will be back for more good reading.

-Einar, bikecommuter, Bergen, Norway.

Anonymous said...

Hehe... I hear this a lot. The hills a re a major reason here as well.

Unfortunately local cycling leaflets seem to be focussed on the danger and how to avoid it.

2whls3spds said...

The ones in the US always list having a helmet as the first requirement...Puleeze! The US is sorely lacking in any form of road education, whether for cyclists or drivers. Therein lies the danger.


cocosolis said...

"The car is much quicker (by design in this country, cycling within town is generally quicker than driving)"

Even without the design, one reason why I took up cycling to work was that it proved quicker than the alternatives - certainly at peak times, in Manchester. A 'bike to work' day, sponsored by my employer with a cooked breakfast (I know, I know) persuaded me to try. Haven't looked back since.