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Old 10-29-10, 07:12 AM   #1
Ken Brown
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Bicycle Rush Hour in Utrecht, Netherlands

I can't remember where I first learned of this video; I hope it was not here or it will be a repeat for many of you. Anyway, I really like this and wish we could all live in such a bike-friendly culture. I would think there might be a lot of collisions, but I would rather collide with another bike than a car.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-AbP...eature=related
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Old 10-29-10, 08:34 AM   #2
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That's great. I just returnd from a bike trip in the Netherlands. The bike traffic in Amsterdam was incredible. I was surprised to see that gas powered scooters can use bike lanes, but I guess it makes sense if one of the objectives is to limit car traffic. As you can see in the video, no one riding a relatively slow commuter bike wears a helmet. But roadies outside the city centers frequently do. Ironically, the odds of a crash are probably a lot higher in the cities.
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Old 10-29-10, 09:15 AM   #3
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I was on a business trip in Copenhagen last January. It was quite cold (10-20 F) snowing and windy but I saw more people riding bikes than I have ever seen even on a summer day in a typical American city... Europe certainly has their priorities in the right place when it comes to cycling - on many roads the bike lanes were separate from the main traffic and were plowed as soon as possible after it snowed!
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Old 10-29-10, 09:43 AM   #4
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What a great video! It is interesting to see so many in jacket and tie or other business attire. My son lived in Europe for several months last year and declared Amsterdam his favorite city.
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Old 10-29-10, 10:32 AM   #5
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The video replicates what our experience was while vacationing in Leiden and Amsterdam this summer. Cycling is a MAJOR form of transportation; I mean the country has more bicycles than people (16.5 million, slightly more than 1 per person.)
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Old 10-29-10, 10:36 AM   #6
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I rented a bike for a day in Amsterdam last year. While I love the city, I didn't find the central core to be great for cycling because there is so little room and you have to share it with cars. Still, it is better than most North American cities, and is great outside the core.
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Old 10-29-10, 12:05 PM   #7
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Notice that there are no fat people. What's the secret? From my experience in Europe, people eat moderate amounts of food and get exercise as part of their daily activities. Americans could learn a lot from observing how other people around the world live.
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Old 10-29-10, 12:46 PM   #8
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Notice that there are no fat people. What's the secret? From my experience in Europe, people eat moderate amounts of food and get exercise as part of their daily activities. Americans could learn a lot from observing how other people around the world live.
Come to the UK. Plenty of obese and heavy over here but you will never see them exercising- let alone get on a bike.

I never rode a bike when I went to Amsterdam- but can vouch for cycle traffice being that high. Problem was that Bikes seem to have priority over everything and they know it. Unless you are on a bike in the Netherlands- you are not safe- whether in a car- on a bus or on foot.
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Old 11-06-10, 04:23 PM   #9
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It was kind of hard to see for sure, but I think I only saw one bike with a rear derailleur, and not a single one with drop bars. I guess the bikes are all single-speed or have geared hubs. But I suppose if it's flat you can get by without gears.
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Old 11-06-10, 04:44 PM   #10
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And they all stopped for the red light.

I'd want a fixie, but I'd use a low gear. No need to go too fast at all.

Thanks for posting, Ken Brown.

Last edited by trackhub; 11-06-10 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 11-06-10, 04:53 PM   #11
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The bike I rented had an internal hub, and I think most city bike are like that. The bikes are very heavy and I actually had to gear down and stand on the pedals to get over those little bridges across the canals. Of course there are road cyclists who ride with drop bars and deraileurs, but they wouldn't normally ride those bikes around the city.

You can see the two brake cables plus shift cable on my bike.

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Old 11-06-10, 06:23 PM   #12
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Very nice. But before we get too carried away we need to remember the distances involved are mostly very short by NA standards. Plus, they grew up under a whole different political philosophy that did not get carried over to either of the two NA countries which have pretty spread out lives.

Sure, cycling is great and what they are doing there is great and it is applicable to some of our major population centers. But....
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Old 11-06-10, 06:51 PM   #13
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I was in Utrecht in September and the traffic in the video is typical of what I observed. Except that it is not raining--whenever I go to Europe it rains every day. So I can tell you that the bike traffic is just as thick in the rain. Imagine all those cyclists holding umbrellas in one hand! They also ferry their kids around in seats up front--when it rains they put up windshields to keep the kids a little drier. There also seems to be no rule against talking on your mobile while you ride. And one last observation--most of the pavement in the center of Utrecht is cobbled--all bikes rattle all the time!
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Old 11-06-10, 09:48 PM   #14
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I love the guy at 30 seconds who is wheeling a second bike and the guy at one minute who rides up on the island. Fun video.
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Old 11-07-10, 05:44 AM   #15
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On that video, there is a related similar video of "Riding in the rain"- check it out.

From what I have heard, bicycle speeds are also fairly low there by our standards.

My son lived in Germany for a year, and his comment on the bike/car thing was "Yeah, but they're all just going down to the corner anyway"- IE, they're not commuting 35 miles to work by bicycle.

Here in the Dallas area, one of the major impediments to cycling like that is the heat. I can ride a couple of blocks and be soaked in sweat in the summer. So yes, I can ride year round, but wouldn't be able to commute to work year round by bicycle, regardless of how close it was.
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Old 11-07-10, 06:07 AM   #16
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The video is enough to make one dizzy. This is urban life as it should be.. Bikes are so logical compared to the destructiveness of cars turning cities into parking lots.. Been to Amsterdam. ?.. Utrecht bike traffic looks not all that congested.
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Old 11-11-10, 08:14 AM   #17
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Now, for the important question: What do they have over there for Beer?
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Old 11-11-10, 09:33 AM   #18
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Now, for the important question: What do they have over there for Beer?
Gotcha covered..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkulQ...eature=related
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