Wednesday 30 September 2009

Music and cycling in Tilburg

Here's a video of Batiste en David performing "Hier op mijn fiets". A translation of the chorus: "Here on my bike, I feel like a king. Here on my bike, sitting on my throne. Here on my bike, waving to people. Here on my bike, feeling the sun..."

I think the video was made in Tilburg - a town which has recently been criticised for the quality of its cycling infrastructure, and the resulting "low" rate of cycling. However, that's only "low" for the Netherlands. i.e. higher than anywhere else.

Cycling is always a happy thing to do in the Netherlands... There are other examples of cycling music on the blog.

The photo, taken from a copy of ligfietsen magazine, shows the cycling plan for Tilburg next to a photo showing a narrow cycle path. You expect to be able to ride side by side here - that cycle path is obviously somewhat narrower than the usual four metres for a bidirectional path.


Mark W. said...

Yes that is Tilburg, I recognize it and they name streets of Tilburg. It is not a lot of text so here is a translation. Does tell you how the Dutch see cycling, doesn't it.

I mount my bike,
everything goes faster.
I mount my bike,
my heart propels me forward.
All through Tuinstraat, [Gardenstreet]
and over Heuvel ["Hill" name of a square],
I feel Spring,
in every sound.

Here on my bike,
I feel like a king.
Here on my bike,
sitting on my throne.
Here on my bike,
waving to people.
Here on my bike,
feeling the sun.

I ride my bike,
everything goes faster.
Free as a bird,
on this red path.
Cafés terraces are full,
glasses with beer,
smiling people,
all over the city.

Mark W. said...

It is a bit nasty for Tilburg that they are criticized nowadays, because it was known as a cycling city for a long time. Of all transportations 30% are on bicycles. About 20 years ago it was one of the first cities to create cohesive cycle routes rather then cycle paths 'everywhere' without connection. And it was the first city where I saw red asphalt on bike paths. But it shows that you cannot just make nice cycle routes and leave it at that. Successive city councils have neglected cycling for years, when maintenance and constant renewal of the infrastructure in a growing city proved essential. But let's hope Tilburg is on the way back now. This song was part of a 2008 campaign by the city to increase cycle use.

David Hembrow said...

Mark, I agree that in one sense it's "a bit nasty," but of course sitting in one's laurels is never a good way to approach anything.

30% of journeys by bike used to be pretty good. It still is relative to other countries. However, other Dutch cities have not stood still and have overtaken Tilburg.

On our articles page there is a video about what the Netherlands was doing about cycling 20 years ago.

I had a great time in Tilburg earlier this year.

Tom B said...

david, I hope you won't mind but i borrowed a couple of your photos to use as part of my response to my local authority's new "cycling strategy". They'd shown shots of some of their own efforts which were so poor (and downruight dangerous) I felt the need to show them how it could be done. all the best, Tom.

Emma J said...

Enjoyable getting this view into cycling in the wider world. In fact, I find myself biking a little less apologetically and a little more loudly here in the US because I'm seeing how really wonderful cycling is elsewhere. Thanks for the window in.