Anneke, a regular contributor to this blog, drew my attention to this song, "Op Fietse" ("On a Bike"). It was recorded in 1997 by a Drents band called Skik. They are singing about how wonderful it is to cycle here in Drenthe, describing various parts of the province, how they can do whatever they want cycling around with the wind in their wheels, without a care in the world. Riding up to the German border before riding back again, across heath and through forests, along the side of canals. Wonderful. It really is just like that here. The song is in the Drents dialect, and the lyrics are here.
In 1997 this song made it into the top 40 here in the Netherlands.
I realised on hearing this that I had heard the harmonica before. It's in this video which was amongst a number of videos promoting cycling that I put on my website a few years back.
After some wonderful pictures of people having fun on their bikes, the titling on this one says "As we like sitting on the bike so much, why stand still in a traffic jam ? Cycling to work - a good thing."
If you're interested in experiencing for yourself what it's like to cycle in Drenthe, the cycling province of the Netherlands, where cycling is something so pleasant that it encourages people to sing about it, please take a look at our cycling holidays.
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The less positive stuff What not to do if you want a cycling "revolution" - Long list of interventions and policies which are not helpful. Copy the best examples from the Netherlands - a short list summarising the above. Important to copy the best examples, not just anything "Dutch". Bear in mind that the Netherlands is not perfect. Shared Space - this much hyped idea simply does not work well. It disenfranchises the vulnerable and claims of safety are exaggerated. Don't confuse the concept with far more successful nearly car free streets. Shared Use Paths designed to be used by pedestrians and cyclists together. These rarely work well because the two user groups are too different and it leads to conflicts. They are not built in the Netherlands (but cycle access to pedestrianized zones is good). Strict (or presumed) liability - If you think this is an important part of why people cycle in the Netherlands then it is probably not what you think it is. Helmets - one of several ways of scaremongering about the supposed dangers of what is actually a very safe means of transport
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A cyclist in a cycling family living in the capital of the cycling province of the world's greatest cycling country.
I was born in the UK, lived for over 8 years in New Zealand and have lived in the Netherlands since 2007.
I organise cycling infrastructure study tours, run an online bicycle shop, arrange cycling holidays and write a popular blog about cycling.
My email address is email@example.com