Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas photos

I've been very busy with other work lately so blog updates have had to take a back seat for a couple of months. Over the last few days I've taken a few photos of people in Assen, out and about, enjoying the traditional pre-Christmas activity of spending money.

There was a continuous stream of people cycling past this spot yesterday.

All ages, all demographics.

All ages, all demographics.

All ages, all demographics.

All ages, all demographics. For cycling to achieve a high modal share, it must attract everyone. I.e. everyday cycling must be both convenient and safe. The experience should be pleasurable and not akin to an extreme sport. In particular, subjective safety is of paramount importance.

Shopping by bike is of course normal for many people.

Almost everyone rides a bicycle optimised over decades as a practical and reliable means of everyday transport

It's quite common to see a parent in a hurry giving a tired child a helping hand.

All age groups cycle

Let's not forget that cycling infrastructure isn't only for able-bodied "cyclists"

It's legal to walk one dog while cycling in the Netherlands... but two would be dangerous.

Bakfietsen are great for carrying small children, but of course it's more difficult to find a parking space for a larger bike.

Because there are no cars in the city centre, children can ride their own bikes in safety.

In the city centre square (which was once a car-park).

Outside a department store. Luggage racks, comfy saddles, capacious panniers, mudguards, coatguards, chainguards, permanently fitted locks and lights are all part of what makes for a reliable everyday bicycle.

Bikes next to the Christmas market. There were not enough racks so like most of the bikes in these photos, these are not parked in racks. Front luggage racks are a very popular and practical addition to any bike.

The city centre is officially completely pedestrianized. But the strip on the middle which looks like a road is for bikes. I explained about this in a post from last year.

A surprisingly large number of people make their journeys to the centres of Dutch cities by car, despite the queues that they have to endure to do so. It's important not to give a false impression of how many journeys are by bike vs. car in the Netherlands.

Standing in exactly the same place and pointing the camera in the opposite direction I had a fine view of the people who had chosen to cycle making their journeys without any delays at all. Unravelling of modes allows cycle journeys not to be affected by queuing cars.

Amongst the many parked bicycles everywhere you find some evidence of a real minority in he Netherlands: Approximately 1% of journeys in this country are made by moped.
Local shopping centres also attract many people by bike. All the racks were full today, and there were lots of bikes parked outside the racks.

But just as in the centre, some people come by car even if it means they have to drive around a lot to find a parking space


Oliebollen, a type of doughnut, are very popular at this time of year (and more so on New Year's Eve)

City centre cycle-parking after dark.

Pub(cafe) on one side o the street, shops on the other. Both with bikes outside

Lamp-post. Bicycle.

The Drentsarchief

The Nieuwe Kolk. Assen's combined library, cinema, theatre and concert hall. The sign points to the indoor cycle-parking. Unfortunately, the road outside this building isn't really very good for cycling.


The new pancake boat is extremely popular

The reflections from the traffic jam on the other side of the canal were quite pretty but I was glad not to be part of this queue.

Instead, I was happy to be part of the free-flowing cycle-traffic using the bicycle road on the other side of the canal.

Judy visited a hairdresser in a village 15 km away today. Longer journeys are hassle free when decent cycling infrastructure runs the whole distance.

A friend combines delivering the mail with impersonating Santa. It's safe to stop and chat because we were not standing on busy roads.
Study tours
If you wish to find out about how the "miracle" of mass cycling was achieved in the Netherlands, we're taking bookings now for our next open study tour in April.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Whatever and however you celebrate at this time of year, I wish you the best of luck.
I downloaded the design for this Koch snowflake hanging from our Christmas tree, but I've also made several of my own part designs, most of them for cyclists, free to download.

1 comment:

Rebecca Albrecht said...

Lovely pictures. I can't wait to return!