Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée
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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.