Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Casual cycling in a building site

I’ve been trying to work on a post about Dutch cycling but this post really illustrates the commonplace nature of the infrastructure and cycling access. It’s there everyday for everybody.


After all the recent posts on infrastructure, it is time to focus again on who that was all built for: ordinary people on their bicycles. During my lunch break I pointed my camera at people cycling in the station area of Utrecht. I’ve shown you manyvideos of rush hour in this area, but because over 22,000 people pass here on a bicycle every day, you see people cycling here any time of the day, also outside rush hours. If you look at who you see cycling in this video, you can tell the working part of the population is largely missing. You see lots of students, women and also children, which means it must have been a Wednesday afternoon, because traditionally that day is still only a half a school day for most schools in this country. You can even see some dads who have just picked up…

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3 comments on “Casual cycling in a building site

  1. solarbeez
    July 17, 2014

    Oooops. I put my comment on the “Bicycle Dutch” site by mistake. I loved seeing all those people riding bicycles. Young and old. Their bicycle lanes are to be envied. I didn’t see too many people wearing helmets, though. Do you wear one? I do…can’t afford to lose ANY brain cells.
    My wife and I take our bicycles to get the mail in town…a distance of 3 miles (4.8 km). We usually combine that trip with delivering from the print shop or grocery shopping. We try to maintain a 50% car-free year. I have a feeling most of the people in the Netherlands are maintaining a 90 to 100% car-free year. Am I right?


    • andreengels
      July 17, 2014

      Regarding the helmets: Bicycle helmets are rarely worn in the Netherlands, sometimes children do, but otherwise it’s just racing cyclists. I guess the difference is that wherever you are cycling [i]feels[/i] unsafe. Driving, walking or climbing the stairs at your home, you’re also running a risk of head injury, but I don’t suppose you wear a helmet in those cases. Because you don’t feel unsafe. Cycling in the Netherlands gives the same feeling of subjective safety.
      Regarding car-freeness: No, there are undoubtedly more car-free or near-car-free people in the Netherlands than elsewhere (I’m one of them, 42 years old, living alone and never had a driving license), but the majority of people will still use a car more than once a week. For example from it can be seen that to go to work still over 50% of all people drive a car (car driver 54%, car passenger 5.5%, public transport 9.7%, moped 1.6%, bicycle 24.5%, walking 3.3%, other 1.5%).


      • lizard100
        July 17, 2014

        It’s impressive. We do see more cycle helmets now though but because the infrastructure for bikes is separate the risks are not the same.


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This entry was posted on July 16, 2014 by in environment and tagged , , .

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a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...

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