is a common lament in the UK when faced with a certain
paucity of cycling facilities, or the typical aggressive
or inattentive actions of the driving fraternity -
"Why can't we be more like the Europeans?"
there is anything likely to get support flowing for
the EU it's offering the cycling community the heady
nirvana of clear and easy cycle transport. Many come
back from France with tales of car drivers patiently
waiting as the cyclist winds his way up a Tour peak,
passing only when safe to do so, and with a cheery
encouragement of 'Chapeau!'. Others remark on the
Italians, the collective noun for their drivers normally
being a 'race', but who nonetheless regard cyclists
as having a proper place on the road.
there is one country that has us gushing more than
any other. Why can't we be more like the Netherlands?
we imagine unimpeded cycling; an easy flat landscape;
sunshine and a constant tailwind; the bicycle is the
king, the car a mere serf. Heaven.
like most dreams could it be too good to be true?
While the low-country might be a revelation for those
visiting from this island, can a couple of weeks holiday
cycling give a true indication of the situation? In
an effort to find out we spoke to the experts.
began life more or less as a conglomeration of ideas
and first appeared online in January 1998. Since then
it has been providing information and news on cycling
in Dutch, German, Danish, Spanish, French, Swedish,
Norwegian and English, and as an initiative of the
Dutch Association for Human Powered Vehicles has been
going from strength to strength.
were definitely the people we were after.
opened with an initial query about the Dutch attitude,
wondering how far away it is from that held in the