A bunch of us met for a huneliggers ride through the countryside again today. Wonderful weather for it.
It was -7 C this morning, and had "warmed up" to -6 C by the time the ride itself started. That's still T-shirt weather with a velomobile, so of course I rode in my Mango, but whenever you get out you need to put a coat on sharpish. And of course you also need to wear a good warm hat and scarf while riding. But not gloves.
The countryside just looks so fantastically wonderful on a day like this. That is the reward for going out on a cold, but bright, day like this.
The sun was relatively strong for a winter day, and there was no wind to speak of, so it was really rather pleasant. Good company is vitally important too, of course, and that's the reason to meet up with a bunch of people and ride together. Today, Peter, Robert and Harry were already at the start point. Harry set off towards home quite early as he had only come for the Marathon Winter studded tyres which I had brought with me. Peter and Robert both also live in Assen, so we rode back together through the countryside.
The cycle paths locally have not been swept quite so well this year as last. The weather has been difficult, thawing and re-freezing repeatedly. However, the "superhighway" stretch between Assen and Vries was quite good. I had few problems yesterday cycling within the city.
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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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