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Old 03-04-03, 01:26 PM   #1
Joe Gardner
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I want to live in Holland.

I just recived this in my email, a great article about Holland, and the use of bicycles.

http://www.hiptravelguide.com/amster...cle.php?sid=29
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Old 03-04-03, 01:34 PM   #2
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It's a great place to ride. A friend of mine and I rode the length of the country in one day a few years ago - the bike "roads" are like nothing I've ever seen. There are overpasses, underpasses - some even have their own stoplights at intersections. One thing about theft, they have a crew whose sole purpose is to remove bikes from the canals with this crane/claw device.
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Old 03-04-03, 01:39 PM   #3
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Wow!

That gives me great ideas- I have some plans for the summer with the city of Chicago for bicycling promotions, should I get this summer job. I'm going to take this article and spread some love with it.

Thanks Joe.

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Old 03-04-03, 07:48 PM   #4
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I love the Netherlands and have been there countless times. One time when I was there on a three week course. A colleague and I went to one of their national parks and used the “white” bicycles to cycle around. The white bicycles were free to use and when you left it at your destination someone else would take it so you would have to find another to use! The Netherlands is the most bike-friendly nation and I believe they passed a law that all new roads must have bicycle paths. A cyclist's paradise indeed!
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Old 03-04-03, 08:36 PM   #5
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Several friends in my cycling club have done the "bike/barge" trips in Holland. (You stay on the barge, cycle for the day, and the barge meets up with you at the end of each day.) They've described it to me as no frills...I mean NO frills cruising....it sounds like heaven and is very affordable. I'm hoping to take one of these trips soon.
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Old 03-04-03, 09:16 PM   #6
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With two parents born in Amsterdam and my last name containing the word Holland, I guess it's no surprise I am into cycling.

CHEERS.

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Old 03-04-03, 09:19 PM   #7
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Metal Cowgal, do you have more information on that trip? Sounds fun
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Old 03-04-03, 09:28 PM   #8
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Joe

Apparently, there are several outfitters offering bike barge trips....(I found them by using "bike barge" as keywords in an internet search engine...sorry, I don't have any of the internet addresses handy). You can get a good idea of the various routes through any of the websites. I'm not sure which touring company my friends used; they're in Florida right now, but they may be back for our cycling club meeting next week. If so, I'll get the information and pass it along. They told me their trips were less than $1000 including all meals, lodging, and a bike for the week. When they went, they got group airfare rates and the total cost of the trip (including airfare) was still under a grand.

I will pass along more information when I get it, as I am seriously looking into this. I do remember my friends said they preferred the "Southern Route" and that the Spring was the best time weather-wise.

Mary Ann

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Old 03-30-03, 12:58 PM   #9
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Holland is a great place for biking, just look out for the trolleys in Amstedam. Their prefered target is baby carraiges and nuns but they'll go after bikes too.

-Andy
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Old 03-30-03, 02:24 PM   #10
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Joe, my father is from Holland, a great place to live, and to ride.
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Old 03-31-03, 04:03 PM   #11
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In Holland and some other European countries, the solution for traffic safety has been to slow down the cars, restrict auto access to city centers, and provide first-rate bikeways. The result has been the world's best bike safety record -- despite an almost zero helmet-wearing population! -- and a tremendously positive health and environmental benefit from so many people riding bikes daily instead of driving. Here in the US we regard the dangerous and irresponsible use of automobiles as given, as an immutable fact. We need to get over that; it's as silly as assuming that "boys will be boys and bring their Uzis to class with them" -- and handing out the Kevlar.

(from:http://www.ucolick.org/~de/AltTrans/helmet.html)

Now there's something that shows the difference between our two cultures! (I clipped this from an advocacy group on Yahoo),

"For the last couple years we were living in Germany my daughter who was 18-19 at the time rode her bicycle from our house, at night to nightclubs in downtown Heidelberg, about 19km each way. She used mostly the same bike route I used daily to get to work elsewhere in Heidelberg. Both her and my lack of undue concern for safety (both on and off bike) was because of the difference in culture. Now that we are in the US, her comments about cycling?---"I wouldn't
feel safe driving a small car here let alone a bicycle."

The North European environment of cycling awareness, accomodation, tolerance and respect for cyclists (from motorists and other cyclists) is a worthy objective for North American cycling advocates to seek."


Just check out how many people bike by looking at a bike parking lot!

Last edited by closetbiker; 03-31-03 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 03-31-03, 09:31 PM   #12
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Closetbiker, I'd suggest you have a read of some of the archives of this forum. The response from Europeans here to the cycling system (particularly in Holland) has been mixed to say the least. The bike paths seem to be great for a sunday morning ride when you aren't actually intending to go anywhere, but I've heard quite a few complaints from commuters in that part of the world.
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Old 03-31-03, 09:45 PM   #13
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I would like to tour Holland. I am planning a mini Tour De France for me and 5 other people after we graduate from high school next year. We basically want to ride the same path that the Tour De France pro's will be riding. That is our goal.
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Old 03-31-03, 10:13 PM   #14
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Originally posted by closetbiker
In Holland and some other European countries, the solution for traffic safety has been to slow down the cars, restrict auto access to city centers, and provide first-rate bikeways.
Curiously enough, a recent traffic study here in Seattle has concluded a slight decline in accidents due to the higher amount of congestion and the resulting lower average speed of vehicles on the road.
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Old 03-31-03, 10:18 PM   #15
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I bet you are never far from a bike store..... wouldnt have to carry a tube aye? just nip across the road to the store lol.....probably no glass and cr4p?

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Old 04-01-03, 02:02 AM   #16
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It's a great place. re Chris L's comment, it may be that people are a bit spoiled. It really caters for the cyclist, but the most important thing is the attitude of drivers. because everyone rides or knows someone who rides, they look for bikes, even giving way when legally they have right of way.
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Old 04-01-03, 07:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L
Closetbiker, I'd suggest you have a read of some of the archives of this forum. The response from Europeans here to the cycling system (particularly in Holland) has been mixed to say the least.
I'm well aware of the shortcomings of the paths. What I was heralding was the relative safety on a bike there as well as the acceptance of the bike as a form of transport.

There, you have couples going clubbing on their bikes! Here everyone thinks I'm nuts for commuting to work on my bike!
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Old 04-01-03, 09:44 PM   #18
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Originally posted by closetbiker
I'm well aware of the shortcomings of the paths. What I was heralding was the relative safety on a bike there as well as the acceptance of the bike as a form of transport.

There, you have couples going clubbing on their bikes! Here everyone thinks I'm nuts for commuting to work on my bike!
Wouldn't it be nice to have the best of both worlds?
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Old 04-01-03, 10:36 PM   #19
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Wouldn't it be nice to have the best of both worlds?
What!? Acceptance on the ROADS??!!
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Old 04-02-03, 02:54 AM   #20
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Old 04-02-03, 07:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Closetbiker, I'd suggest you have a read of some of the archives of this forum. The response from Europeans here to the cycling system (particularly in Holland) has been mixed to say the least. The bike paths seem to be great for a sunday morning ride when you aren't actually intending to go anywhere, but I've heard quite a few complaints from commuters in that part of the world.
ChrisL,

as i think you might be referring to some of my comments as well, i thought i would comment:

i think the Dutch system has a few flaws which would best be corrected if it is used a THE MODEL (like the law that bike paths are MANDATORY and only motor vehicles are allowed on the roads), but the overall system is pretty great! it really encourages cycle usage by normal people and children and families.

for hard-core cyclists that ride high speeds the system is not ideal primarily b/c of the restriction that cyclists MUST ride on the designated bike paths/lanes instead of on the roads -- so in other words 30km/h+ cyclists have to ride on paths full of recreational riders going 15-20km/h or maybe slower and kids and maybe dogs and all kinds of "family" obstacles. it would be like saying only 18-wheelers can use the interstate and all cars must use the regular roads, thus forcing high-speed sports cars to use residential roads for long-distance travel even though they want to travel at higher speeds and longer distances than the majority of the local traffic.

i really enjoyed cycling in Holland and i was amazed at how many "non-cycling types" rode bikes. the majority of the people on bikes wear regular clothes and use old heavy upright bikes and are not really what most people (especially Americans) think of cyclists with helmets, nice bikes and lyrca...

and i think as a travel destination, as long as the flatness is ok (i love mountains and riding up and down) i think Holland is a great cycling choice! just get out of the cities and the bike traffic is usually light enough that you can cruise. now i'm not so sure i would recommend a Cat 1 bike club do their trainnig there (but since it's flat they probably would want something more challenging anyway). and cycle touring is well supported.
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Old 04-02-03, 08:50 AM   #22
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From the pictures posted here and most of the other bike-related photos of Holland, Almost all the bikes appear to be middleweights of the "English Racer" sort of variety.

I understand that for utility cycling that chainguards, racks, and fenders are required, but I would think that if you spend alot of time in the saddle that a modern lightweight road bike or hybrid would be what you would want to ride.

Another thing is that I don't see many cycle specific adaptations to clothing. So I am guessing that most of these folks are riding very short distances.

Can someone who has been there clarify this for me ?

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Old 04-02-03, 12:11 PM   #23
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well, maybe someone who lives there can provide more info, but from my observations as a tourist:

Quote:
From the pictures posted here and most of the other bike-related photos of Holland, Almost all the bikes appear to be middleweights of the "English Racer" sort of variety.
yes, there is a "dutch" bike that you see all over the place - black and made of heavy steel - when i was first in the Netherlands i wondered why all the bikes were so old - most looked like they were 20 years old or whatever -- then i saw the same bikes NEW in the shop. there are some lighter and better bikes, but the vast majority are the standard heavy "city bike". and i might add these are much heavier and old-fashioned looking than the "city-bikes" that one sees in Germany which often times are quite well made with lightweight parts and high-performance parts. also, many Germany ride nice "touring" bikes for use in the city - seems like a better choice.

Quote:
I understand that for utility cycling that chainguards, racks, and fenders are required, but I would think that if you spend alot of time in the saddle that a modern lightweight road bike or hybrid would be what you would want to ride.
well, i personally agree - as i use my old aluminum hardtail as my commuter and my old old steel mountain bike as my beater. both are outfit with fenders and rack but i like riding them a LOT more than the heavy unk they ride in Holland... and as i said, in Germany the city bikes and touring bikes sold in the local bike store are MUCH better than what i saw in Holland... so no idea

Quote:
Another thing is that I don't see many cycle specific adaptations to clothing. So I am guessing that most of these folks are riding very short distances.
i'm sure there are more serious cyclists who were cycling specific clothing, but yes, the majority just wear jeans and regular clothes or whatever...

i think a large percentage of the cycling trips are short - going to school or in the neighboorhood, but there are also people who ride further...

i visited a friend in Holland a while back and i was surprized that he was a pretty strong and fit cyclist even though he wore regular clothes and rode a heavy bike... we did a multi-hour tour and he had on a regular button-down shirt and regular shorts and running shoes... he does long cycling tours and i don't think he even owns lycra shorts or a bike jersey or bike gloves (things which i wear for almost any ride over about 15 minutes)

i got the impression that compared to much of the rest of Europe that i know better (Germany, France, Spain, Italy), there are more overall cyclists, but far fewer "serious" cyclists doing long rides and serious training. in Spain and Italy there are very few "regular" people on bikes, but TONS of sport cyclists in lycra - actually i think in Spain and Italy you see almost ONLY really top hihgly trained cyclists. and Germany and France both have a lot of "regular" people on bikes but fewer than Holland, but also FAR more serious sport cyclists wearing lycra or riding in club rides or whatever. oh, just for comparision, i'd say the US, Canada and Australia have even fewer "regular" cyclists and then close to a majority of adults on bikes are "serious" or "semi-serious". anyhow, this is only my impression and it's hard to generalize as each place is unique.
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Old 04-02-03, 09:21 PM   #24
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ChrisL,

as i think you might be referring to some of my comments as well, i thought i would comment:

i think the Dutch system has a few flaws which would best be corrected if it is used a THE MODEL (like the law that bike paths are MANDATORY and only motor vehicles are allowed on the roads), but the overall system is pretty great! it really encourages cycle usage by normal people and children and families.
We've had a few members from Europe over the time I've been on the forums, but the mandatory part of the system is primarily what I was referring to. If they were provided as an option I would have no problem. However, if they are mandatory and you're trying to go somewhere there isn't a path, I guess you're just out of luck.
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Old 04-03-03, 06:48 AM   #25
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NathanK I think only some of Hollands bike paths are mandatory, not all. I think it depends on the colour of the sign.
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