A couple of days ago I made a video as I rode home. It was horrible weather. Really a lot of rain. Part way home from work, I realised that it was a good opportunity to show the advantages of cycle paths when the weather is bad so started a camera on the back of my Mango.
Being away from motor vehicles in bad weather has a number of advantages. For a start, you have no concerns about "not being seen" by drivers whose vision is obscured by rain, spray or mist. You also remain drier because you are not hit by spray or splashed water from puddles. And you also don't ride over spilled diesel or broken glass from cars.
Journeys like this are a world away from the sort of thing that would happen quite regularly to me when I rode on the roads in the UK. If only I'd had a video camera on my bike back then I could easily have had a collection of videos to compare with this chap (or the many others documenting how cycling isin the UK).
What's more, such cycling provision brings huge benefits in speed as well. In the just short of 14 km distance covered in the video, which shows part of my 30 km each way commute, I average 36.5 km/h despite headwind and rain. The journey would not only have been less pleasant, but it would have taken longer on the road due to there being more traffic lights, traffic calming, and more things to give way to.
This video carries on from about the point that the video in my previous post stopped.
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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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