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Old 08-20-13, 06:20 PM   #1
Papa Tom
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Good Video Re: Cycling In The US, from a Dutch Perspective

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=m2THe_10dYs

I don't usually recommend videos, but this one really moved me.
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Old 08-21-13, 07:24 AM   #2
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Interesting seeing how others see the US from their perspective. Some of the comments seem rather odd though -- as if it's wrong to ride a "racing" bike in traffic and wear lycra gear. The Netherlands is a flat country with a cool climate. Try riding a heavy Dutch bike wearing wool clothes in the Southeast, and you will be utterly miserable due to the 3 Hs -- heat, hills and humidity.
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Old 08-21-13, 07:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Interesting seeing how others see the US from their perspective. Some of the comments seem rather odd though -- as if it's wrong to ride a "racing" bike in traffic and wear lycra gear. The Netherlands is a flat country with a cool climate. Try riding a heavy Dutch bike wearing wool clothes in the Southeast, and you will be utterly miserable due to the 3 Hs -- heat, hills and humidity.
Flat country is right, especially with many cities at around 50 feet above sea level.
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Old 08-21-13, 08:56 AM   #4
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but the guy's not wrong. i like how he laughed at the biking infrastructure here in the US - and rightly so. bike lanes are pretty useless around most places for the exact reasons he stated. not to mention on non-city streets/roads with a marked bike lane - it's just basically the shoulder and does nothing but collect debris.
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Old 08-21-13, 10:05 AM   #5
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I thought it was really a rather quaint video, with just a cursory, simplistic look at how cycling varies between the USA and Netherlands, offering neither a comprehensive view nor any particularly insightful opinions or suggestions.

That things are different between the two cycling cultures is old news indeed; the big story, the interesting story, is in how the USA cycling culture continues to grow, develop, innovate and to influence the rest of the cycling world despite what might seem, prima facie, to be our less developed cycling infrastructure.

Can we learn from the Dutch? Something, certainly, but the Dutch model is neither appropriate for the USA, nor the model of cycling the USA should emulate. As someone who has ridden in Holland (properly), there is much to appreciate about cycling there, but on each trip I've come home more convinced that Dutch cycling is ideal only for the Dutch, and is not a model for cycling anywhere else. Without their geography, history, culture and sensibility, I'm not sure there's much directly transplantable.

The USA presents unique challenges for cyclists, and has the native ingenuity and capacity to meet those challenges as no other nation does, so I, for one, am moved more by what the future of cycling holds in the USA than the present realities of cycling in the Netherlands. Yes, I'd like to see more Americans utility cycling, but putting people on upright, heavy bicycles without helmets, as the narrator of the video suggests, will not make that happen.
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Old 08-21-13, 03:27 PM   #6
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Well put, Chaadster. And for tarwheel...to me, the statement about racing bikes and lycra was more of a commentary about how bicycling in the USA is something that has to be taken so damned seriously all the time. You can't just get on the bike and go. You need a helmet, padding to protect your crotch, laughingly loud clothing to be seen, blinkies on the back, blinkies on the front, a lock that weighs as much as your bike, a frame pump, a bpa-free water bottle, a set of $200 panniers, toe clip pedals, special sneakers that clip into the pedals but make you walk like you've got a load in your pants when you get off...

I agree with Chaad that the Dutch approach to bicycling is highly impractical in the US; however, I hope the US cycling culture someday advances to the point where getting on a bike and going somewhere won't require so much freaking thought.
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