If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know that we upped sticks and moved here from the UK because it is the best place in the world to cycle. There is no-where else with the number of cyclists that this part of the Netherlands has, and no-where else with such wonderful facilities for cycling. Assen, where we now live, is the capital of the "cycling province" of the Netherlands, Drenthe. Groningen, a few km North, is the city with the highest cycling rate in the world.
The weather in May is generally marvellous for cycling, and it carries on right through the summer. Last Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day. Our children rode with their friends to the beach, while Judy and I went out to plan a new route for our cycling holiday customers. We took a few photos and a bit of video while we were doing it. As ever, we barely saw any cars, and also as ever, there were thousands of other people cycling !
You've read the blog, now see everything with your own eyes. Since 2006, hundreds of people have joined us on our Cycling Study Tours.
First hand experience is better than reading. Book a tour to see how policy and infrastructure have attracted people from all walks of life to cycle:
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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 new winter sport, Ice-Track-Cycling, based in Assen:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org