The Drents Fietsvierdaagse was last week. This is a four day recreational cycle ride which has been run every year for forty years. There are several start places, including here in Assen. This year there were 13000 participants. 11000 of them rode every day, and the others were people who joined in for a day or two.
There are several rides each day, all recreational rather than races (there are plenty of other events for those who want to race), and this video from our local broadcaster focusses mainly on people doing the "RollOnRoute" ride aimed mainly at people with disabilities and their family and friends. Cycling is very much an inclusive activity.
The routes go through a lot of villages, and of course all the cafes on route do great business. Lots of places open especially, and there are stalls selling all kinds of things.
We took part last year and enjoyed it a lot, but I was working this year and sadly couldn't spare the time.
You'll see a nice wide demographic in the video. Men and women of all ages, able bodied and people with disabilities, out there having fun. Sadly the event was marred by quite bad weather this year, but this didn't seem to dampen too many people's enthusiasm.
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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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