Monday, 14 December 2009

Mountains and valleys. In the Netherlands.


A direct translation of the name of the Dutch village of "Berg en Dal" is "Mountain and Valley". Much of the Netherlands is flat, but there are some quite hilly bits too, and people do cycle in those hilly bits.

Hills are often used as an excuse for low cycling rates, even though they are very rarely the true reason why people don't cycle. That hills don't really put people off cycling was discussed previously (go there for all the arguments).

Another of Mark Wagenbuur's videos. There are a number of posts showing things that people use as excuses why it is that there is less cycling elsewhere.

7 comments:

Maggie said...

I love Mark's videos. This one gave me a bit of 'heimwee' for the Netherlands. I used to bike in Berg en Dal every day when I lived there. Such a beautiful area.

100 Mile Bike said...

A lovely video. I'm amazed that you have found a 10% incline in Holland.

David Hembrow said...

The Netherlands is full of surprises. Go to this post and you'll see a 14% sign.

Maastricht, the capital of the hilliest province of the hilliest province, Limburg, currently has 30% of journeys by bike and is working to increase its cycling rate.

anna said...

Yes, hills are often used as an excuse. We do have a lot of them in Austria too (hills and excuses). In reality, hills are not a problem, but one of course might consider other bikes than those single-speed and heavy Dutch bikes to get around :).

David Hembrow said...

Of course there are many Dutch bicycles which neither have one gear nor are heavy... And, actually, those are in any case very similar to the type of bikes which were once most common in those places which have lost the mass cycling culture they used to have.

Adrienne Johnson said...

10% grades are nothing here in SF. Lombard Street (the crooked one) is twisty because it is a 27% grade. I am unable to find what the average grade is in SF, but my guess it is between 10% & 15%. Still, our cycling is up 56% since 2006 (we just got our first new bike lanes in over 4 years this month, too). Hills are only what you make them and you quickly adapt.

Me-How said...

Seen that speeding school-girl? She's the proof that the (suggestive) cycle lanes there are way too narrow as she obviously needs much more space at her high speed. Sometimes I wonder why they don't paint a solid line half a metre off the kerb to keep cyclist from riding to far to the right. The Czech do such things, however not necessarily with cyclists in mind but for general traffic safety, as I think.