Wednesday 17 March 2010

School cycling in winter

On the 15th of February, the day these photos were taken, it was -8 C in the morning. However, as you can see from these photos of cycle parking at a local school, Dutch school children cycle whatever the weather.

This cycle park has more than enough space for every one of the 700+ students to park a bicycle, and very nearly every student arrives at school each day by bicycle. Yes, that means even on the coldest days, and includes children who live so far as 20 km from the school.

I met my youngest daughter from school, a little earlier than usual, and we rode home together.

I'm happy to say that it's warmed up a little now, and we're seeing temperatures above zero even first thing in the morning. My daughters again headed for school by bike this morning, just like everyone else.

Also see what happened at this school when they held a school triathlon.


Joost Bonsen said...

Interesting to see the range of path surface conditions. Here in Cambridge, MA, USA even with plowing the puddles-or-ice and the potholes-or-broken stones are hazardous to bicyclist and pedestrian alike.

Can you comment more on the maintenance programs? Everything from snow removal to fixing holes or other interesting relevant stuff? And even on construction side of things.

Thanks much for all your posts!


David Hembrow said...

Joost: I have written about some of these things before. Take a look at the posts tagged with gritting, winter, road works and school travel.

Anonymous said...

i looked at the pics, the bikes aren't locked to anything, even though they are "inside" those metal frames. What's the point of the frames?

Nil said...

Thanks you so much David, I would be so pleased to biking in such conditions if I am a student.

David Hembrow said...

Anonymous: The bike racks serve several purposes. They keep the bikes upright, tidy and allow more bikes to be packed into the same space than would be the case if they were not stored in the racks. This works because there are two levels, so handlebars can overlap. That's how you get 800 bikes into an area of 40 x 20 metres.

The bikes are all locked, using the frame lock which is on all utility bikes. You can see such a lock here. It's enough security. There's very little crime here.

Josef Janning said...

Excellent post. I've been riding to school every day from 5th to 13th grade. Wish there had been this infrastructure (but our's wasn't too bad after all, except for the one truck that ran over one of my sisters and almost killed her).
It very well shows that bikers' heaven is something that can be done i the real world with all its constraints. If only urban planners want to do it.


Unknown said...

great post. we live in northern michigan and were able to bike to school, my kindergartener and 3year old in the trailer, everyday this winter. that picture of all the school bikes at 20F is inspiring. thanks. my boys really thought it was cool.

Anonymous said...

Excellent video. At least my elementary school age son cycles to school daily and has a bike shed to protect his valuable vehicle from spring rains... well at least until the school district decided to expand the school and parking lot into the playground.

Brian said...

Loved the video. When I took my first trip to the Netherlands a few years ago, I thought it was cycling nirvana. This video shows it is, even in winter. A joy to watch. Thanks.

trailsnet said...

It is so nice to see a place where bicycling is a major form of transportation as well as recreation.
I hope to read more posts about bicycling and bicycle paths in Europe.
Thanks for sharing the pictures and video with us.
I hope you don't mind if I add your blog to the blogroll on the trailsnet site.

tlottrike said...

Sadly in Edinburgh the cycle paths became uurideable as the snow turned to rather lumpy solid ice.

In the photo below can you see the cycle path?

I dream of the council clearing snow from the cyclepaths I am very jealous!