Other bloggers have yet again been writing about drivers and how they behave towards cyclists.
I recognise all these problems from when I lived and cycled in the UK. What's more, the friend with whom I rode from Land's End to John o'Groats reminded me this morning of a shop in Cornwall in the UK at which we bought refreshments. As we were loading them onto our bikes outside, the owner came to the door to tell us to "fuck off" because we were cyclists. Most people we met on that ride were reasonable human beings, but he wasn't the only unpleasant one. I've known pubs in the UK to shut their doors when cyclists arrive. They'd rather not have our money, rather than let in what they think are outlaw cyclists. It's really very sad, and of course makes no sense at all.
Anyway, the thing is... none of this happens over here. Not at all, ever. Cycling here is always a pleasure.
Take my commute today. A 63 km round trip, which as always was completely uneventful so far as drivers were concerned. As is normal, they gave way to me at the side road junctions where the law says they should. They also gave way to me at most junctions where they have priority over the cycle path and the law says they don't need to. White van man who this morning had pulled a bit too far out of a side road in order to join the road parallel with my bike path pulled back to let me past, and did so early enough that I didn't have to slow down.
Everyone smiled. No-one shouted. Lots and lots of people cycled.
Another normal day in the Netherlands.
In related news, a recent survey reveals that three quarters of Dutch cyclists sometimes sing as they ride along.
Not culture, not history – physical change
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