There are a lot of sporting activities here this weekend. We've got the "Top of Holland Trophy" football and handball competitions, which have attracted over 150 teams from several countries to the city.
Also, and perhaps of more interest to people who read this blog, there is the "Ronde Van Drenthe" a few km south of here. UCI rated road racing on the doorstep. There are both Men's and Women's races.
We've international competitors at that one too, from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland and Russia, and including national teams from the UK, USA, Germany and Italy. There are also a number of Spanish competitors, which reminds me that there is still the Vuelta a Espana to look forward to. That's starting right here in Assen at the end of August. Also we have the Jeugdtour, the largest youth cycle race in the world which is organised each year here in Assen..
This weekend I intend to ride down to a cafe on the route of the Ronde van Drenthe and have a beer or a coffie while waiting for the competitors to go by.
I also forgot to mention the Assen triathlon last weekend, but I did cover the winter triathlon last year. The video shows young competitors preparing for the jeugdtour last year. I can tell it's racing season. I couldn't keep up with some of the other commuters on the cycle path yesterday. A short video of the racing we saw the next week is here:
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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.
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