Just after I got home tonight my daughter called me to say that there was an ad on the TV that I should see. A few minutes later when I looked at my email, someone had sent me the link to the same. It's above.
The first guy says "Hey neighbour, ESP, ABS, fog lamps, 16 inch rims and 6 gears."
The second guy says "28 inch rims, 8 gears, high power lights and computer integrated in the steering. My wife and daughter have the same."
There is a list of the top selling models on the Batavus website, and much like any mainstream Dutch bicycle manufacturer, these are the most popular models in order. First place is taken by the very traditional Old Dutch, a nicely put together traditional bike with back pedal brake and one gear. "As well as black, also available in today's trendy colours," for €400.
Second place is the Weekend. A higher specification bike (eight gears in the hub, aluminium frame, hub dynamo, built in computer etc.) intended for holidays, or indeed riding at weekends. It's the bike featured in the TV ad and sells for €850.
Third place is the Diva, a "fashiobike" with trendy flower prints, it is an upmarket town bike. The feature "make the Diva a fashion statement." It costs €670.
Fourth is the Mambo deluxe. This is a fully equipped Mamafiets, a class of bike with a greater distance between the saddle and steering in order to accommodate the child seat on the front - which is of course fitted as standard at the factory (or at the very least by the bike shop). It is sold to mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. "Safe, rigid and comfortable. Enough room for getting on and off." That's the way it's sold. Price: €850
Note how all the bikes come fully equipped with mudguards, chainguards (all but the last protecting the chain for year around use), locks, lights. Some models come with pumps and other things you might consider to be separately sold accessories in other parts of the world. Basically these have all the features of a practical everyday bike as I posted about previously.
Batavus do of course also sell racing bikes and mountain bikes, but naturally these sport bikes aren't the most popular models. Most people use their bikes for transportation, not sport. I'm quite surprised that none of the children's bikes make the list.
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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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