A few weeks ago, a new customer, Gerd Pachauer, came into the ligfietsgarage to pick up his new Sinner Mango. Number 211. Many people come to collect their new bikes, and many ride them straight home. However, this customer was from the South of Austria and his first ride on the bike would be an epic 1900 km in ten days ride to get home. That's an average of 190 km a day, or nearly 120 miles, into a prevailing wind and in winter. Not bad at all with a brand new bike, and showing a lot of confidence in his new machine.
Gerd didn't even take the most direct route, but first headed west to cross the Afsluitdijk and he further rode through a good part of the Netherlands and Germany, following the course of several rivers including the Rhine, before reaching Austria.
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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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