Tuesday 9 December 2008

A bit of snow

It's a cold day here today. The temperature is 0 C ( freezing point ) and snow is falling.

I just went out for a quick ride around the block in the snow to show that cyclists don't stop here just because it's a bit cold.

These two are primary school children returning to school after going home for lunch. Primary school children almost always go home for lunch.

My youngest daughter and a friend returning home - they had a half day today, though not because of the snow.

This is the same location shown in the rush hour video. I have no doubt this area would have been just as busy this morning despite the cold.

A second cyclist in the same location.

Note that despite the cold he's confident enough to use an umbrella to keep the snow out of his eyes while cycling.

All the cycle paths and roads have been gritted and salted so there is no chance of slipping over.

Someone without gloves so keeping his hands warm in his pockets instead.

Another umbrella holding cyclist.

Cycling is important here. It is treated seriously.

If a high rate of cycling all year around is important then it must be possible for cyclists to use their bikes in all conditions.

I have a series of posts about winter riding and night riding.

There is also a video from last year showing cyclists in the city centre at sub-zero temperatures.

The first two photos were taken on cycle paths, the middle two on a junction between a bicycle road (where cyclists have priority) and a cycle path, and the last two photos were taken on roads. I should perhaps point out that due to the amount of salt that has been put on the road, the slush that the cyclists are riding through corrodes everything on a bike quickly. A quality Dutch bike for everyday use has a fully enclosed chain and a very good paint job.


Anonymous said...

We don' get a lot of snow here, but when we do I like bicycling in it. Come to think of it I enjoy bicycling in most weather conditions.

Anneke said...

I didn't really like the snow today, it was wet snow, and getting it in your eyes or on your face really stings! I broke my umbrella the other day, so I couldn't use it. I normally don't mind snow or rain, as long as my umbrella does its job. :)

Anonymous said...

Great pictures. Generally, I've found riding on snow isn't a problem, provided you take it easy and don't do anything stoopid. In fact, it's pretty much the same as driving, except in a car you don't arrive at your destination all rosy-cheeked and grinning! Oh, and if you drove, you're invariably late, "because of the snow". :-P

Adrienne Johnson said...

Do people there have 'salt bikes' like many people in snowy parts of the US have 'salt cars', or is there just a lot of bike washing?

David Hembrow said...

Adrienne, there are more bikes than people in the Netherlands, so clearly a lot of people have more than one. However, generally the same town bike is used all year around.

These bikes are very robust. They have fully enclosed chains, hub brakes, hub gears (derailleurs are unreliable), mudguards (fenders) etc. and most importantly the good models have a paint job which is designed to last 20 years of outdoor use.

Earlier this year I made a video of a Dutch bicycle factory in which you can see the hot brine bath used to test components for corrosion resistance.

I've noticed the difference between the Dutch bikes that my elder daughter and my wife have - which have needed no maintenance at all - and the British bikes that I and my younger daughter have - which have needed lots of maintenance.

There is an (already written, but queued up) blog post that will appear in a few days showing the important parts of Dutch bicycles.

Anneke said...

Also, I'd like to point out that very few people ever wash their bikes. I have to admit that the very idea seems ridiculous to me. Also, there would be little reason to wash a bike; what would make it dirty? There are clean (swept, gritted etc) bikepaths, there are no cars to splash me, and there are mudguards and skirtguards and the like to keep anything on the road hitting me, or the rest of the bike.

I have only one time cleaned my bike and that was the time I painted it to make the paint stick.

Me said...

Great pics David. I took some similar ones in Montreal this week: http://www.cyclemania.ca/2008/12/cycling-bike-spotting-montreal/