Riding into the city on a Saturday is fun. The town is always full of bikes, and in the spring (i.e. now) and summer it can be quite hard to find somewhere to sit at the pavement cafes.
We generally ride along the bicycle road shown in the video as it provides the most direct route from most places west, and it's very pleasant to ride along. There are generally no moving cars at all because it's not a through route for cars.
While you only see a small part of the route in this video, the bicycle road extends most of the way out to the new development Kloosterveen which is 4 km to the west. There are other videos featuring parts of it here, here, here and here.
This route was created over the winter of 2007/2008, including building the bridge part way along which carries the dual carriageway outer ring-road over the cycle path and other bridges which cross the canal. While the work was carried out, cycle routes were preserved by building temporary bridges.
Just before making the video I'd stopped to take this photo of a Rabobank Cycling Team car, parked on the other side of the canal. It's one of several team cars often seen in the area, along with many professional racing cyclists of course.
All too often people dwell on the utility cycling in the Netherlands, but it's only one of the many types of cycling which are popular.
Kloosterveen is the location where I made a video showing Children Cycling to School which has been viewed nearly 20000 times. We have many more posts about Assen, and you can see photos of how the city used to look.
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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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Experience for yourself how policy and infrastructure in Assen and Groningen have led to the high cycling modal share in this area:
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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