Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Utrecht’s Vredenburg is the busiest cycle path in all of the Netherlands

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Utrecht’s Vredenburg is the busiest cycle path in all of the Netherlands

Old 06-19-19, 01:22 PM
  #76  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
Thread Starter
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,294

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 432 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5523 Post(s)
Liked 151 Times in 109 Posts
I was just in Paris. The two-wheel traffic looked chaotic, but then after some observation, I realized it's another dance whose steps one must learn. Two-wheel traffic (of all sizes, with and without motors) dart in front of cars. Cars don't pass with a one-meter clearance. In fact, I saw a cyclist pass a car with his handlebar overlapping the car's rearview mirror. I was a passenger in a car one day and a driver the other day. In the past, I cycled in Paris, too.

Nirvana might mean different things to different people. Certainly, in NYC, we do expect you to walk. And it isn't exactly orderly or predictable. But yes, walking is normal, and there is a lot of it happening. As a native New Yorker, I do get impatient with tourists who don't realize that the sidewalks are a place for TRAFFIC, pedestrian traffic. I want to make a spraypaint stencil to put on the sidewalks: "Welcome to New York. Please walk faster. Keep right, pass left."
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 01:50 PM
  #77  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,639
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1333 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 33 Posts
My idea of cycling nirvana is a place where you can ride at the speed you want, and not be impeded by slower riders and pedestrians or assaulted by faster riders. Where I live would be ideal if the MUPs were wider, smoother and traffic was separated. Essentially I would like to see four double wide lanes, two for each direction and separate paths for bikes and peds. This could be accomplished at great cost, but nirvana doesn’t always come cheap.
alan s is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 02:01 PM
  #78  
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,600

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 80 Times in 61 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
This could be accomplished at great cost
Much less cost than building a full road with 2 or 4 lanes each way. BUT, cost per user-mile, probably way higher.
RubeRad is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 02:56 PM
  #79  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,334

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2516 Post(s)
Liked 121 Times in 87 Posts
Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
In a metropolitan context I would totally classify New York (at least Lower Manhattan where I did most of the walking) as a walking nirvana... just as CPH is easily bicycle-commuting heaven compared to pretty much any other +2mil metropolitan area.
I’m not sure how anyone could consider walking (or biking) shoulder to shoulder with millions of other people to be a desirable. If I want to walk or ride a bike, I’d much rather do both in a place of solitude (relative or actual). I’m just not a “crowd” person.

That's a bit of an absurd statement to me, you'll need to elaborate.
It’s mostly self explanatory. Places like Copenhagen (where I’ve never been) or Amsterdam (where I have been) have lots of facilities for bicycles but they also have a lot of people using those facilities...perhaps too many. They are far more similar to crowded freeways of the US than quiet country roads. Most people would choose the later than the former.


It is a little amusing to witness this alarmist framing of biking in Copenhagen and other urban centres with similarly developed biking cultures. Kids 7-8 years of age are biking to school daily on the very lanes you are describing as essentially hazardous. Granted these kids may well have greater intuition for this kind of traffic than someone whose experience is limited to being a lonely enthusiast rider in an otherwise automotive landscape... nevertheless I have to cry hyperbole here. If your ambition is to drive fast, then yes - I'd say some experience with the flow of mass bicycle traffic is certainly warranted... but anyone can fairly safely plug into the flow at moderate speeds around 15kmph. Highly inexperienced tourists constantly do so... not gracefully... and also annoyingly to natives like me... but generally harmlessly.
Not alarmist. Just being a realist. People on the Forums constantly wish to ride in places where bicycles are ubiquitous without every having been there. They think that they are going to a place where the bicycle is king and don’t realize that the trade-offs. 15kph is hardly over walking speed. I’m just saying to people to go with a more realistic expectation.

The bigger problem by far are these new electric mini scooters and the insurgence of electrical bike ownership propelling senior citizens to speeds of 25kmph they otherwise would never reach, nor are cognitively equipped to handle... "fortunately" they're usually themselves the primary victims when things go wrong.
That was one of my major problems with Amsterdam...dealing with motor scooters which have no place mixing with bicycle traffic.

Bottomline, as a native Copenhagen'er who has lived in several major cities I disagree with your "romanticising" comment; living with cycling culture as second nature and a ubiquitous affordance throughout society is an absolutely immense quality of life factor essentially prohibiting me from living longer periods mostly anywhere else at this stage. In the past I've lived in Vancouver, St. Petersburg and London... where inevitably after some time withdrawal symptoms set in followed by claustrophobia simply because motorized traffic dominates life. It's a freedom we take for granted here, that you immediately notice losing in other urban locations, with a resulting sense of existential constriction.
Sorry but I don’t find myself losing any “freedom” riding here in the US without thousands to millions of my fellow citizens. I don’t even find it all that hard to ride with cars. It does take a certain attitude but it’s possible.

But, all things considered, I’d rather ride somewhere where there aren’t a whole lot of other people. I think most people would.
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 03:00 PM
  #80  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,334

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2516 Post(s)
Liked 121 Times in 87 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
My idea of cycling nirvana is a place where you can ride at the speed you want, and not be impeded by slower riders and pedestrians or assaulted by faster riders.
I agree. There is nothing that compares with being able to ride at your own pace without the rest of the world along for the ride.

Where I live would be ideal if the MUPs were wider, smoother and traffic was separated. Essentially I would like to see four double wide lanes, two for each direction and separate paths for bikes and peds. This could be accomplished at great cost, but nirvana doesn’t always come cheap.
Nope. It comes at about $100,000 to $250,000 per mile. 4 to 10 times that if you have to build a bridge.
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 03:03 PM
  #81  
nuxx 
Senior Member
 
nuxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 82

Bikes: Custom Di2 Carbon Flatbar, Trek Madone, Giant XTC Composit 29er, Trek FX 7.6

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
My idea of cycling nirvana is a place where you can ride at the speed you want, and not be impeded by slower riders and pedestrians or assaulted by faster riders.
That’s really the case 95% of the time in Copenhagen despite what you may gauge from those images of peak congestion being proliferated. I didn’t build this just to trot along behind random obstructions... but speed in the city centre here does require proficiency I would agree. But aside from the congested center there’s bike roads out to all of the suburbs (as far as 30km out) with plenty of room to spare accommodating exactly whichever driving style you’d prefer.
nuxx is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 04:19 PM
  #82  
nuxx 
Senior Member
 
nuxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 82

Bikes: Custom Di2 Carbon Flatbar, Trek Madone, Giant XTC Composit 29er, Trek FX 7.6

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’m not sure how anyone could consider walking (or biking) shoulder to shoulder with millions of other people to be a desirable.
Because it means everyone is buying into it, everyone shares a cyclist mentality... the city governance in particular, which actively favours cyclists over motor traffic in planning. Yes it does mean you’re not special/niche anymore for being a cyclist... but I don’t see why that should be desirable in itself.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
If I want to walk or ride a bike, I’d much rather do both in a place of solitude (relative or actual). I’m just not a “crowd” person..
You’re practically describing a hobby... plenty of residents here also own racing bikes and do go out on longer trips in the weekends and go on touring trips/vacations across Europe with panniers... all that still exists - this is about cycling being a de-facto element in personal mobility for *everyone* living here - not merely the dedicated few. Relatively few people in Copenhagen has any particular need/desire to own a car... efficient public transportation and cycling sorts out the vast majority of those needs... that unreliance on a motor vehicle is true freedom for us/me... this is where cycling culture becomes more than just an aesthetic.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
It’s mostly self explanatory. [...] They are far more similar to crowded freeways of the US than quiet country roads. Most people would choose the later than the former.
Again... I’m talking about specifically an urban commuting and living context... not “enjoying cycling” as a pastime... nothing prohibits you from driving into the countryside here - where coincidentally you’ll also find bike paths as already described. I was never fond of Amsterdam’s solutions - I find its cycling affordances hugely overrated - but then I haven’t biked there for nearly a decade - so things may have changed (albeit reports suggest for the worse).

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Not alarmist. Just being a realist. People on the Forums constantly wish to ride in places where bicycles are ubiquitous without every having been there. They think that they are going to a place where the bicycle is king and don’t realize that the trade-offs.
I understand what you mean - yet I feel you’re conflating the notion of simply visiting vs living it... those are entirely different experiences and the value of the latter can only really be experienced/appreciated over time as a resident rather than visitor.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
15kph is hardly over walking speed. I’m just saying to people to go with a more realistic expectation.
I mean... you’re walking pretty fast then! I merely describe that pace as a fairly basic level anyone should be able to control without any particular experience... the area where you may see the kind of congestion you’re worried about spans little more than 2-3km... even if you had to stick to 15kmph - you’d be through it in merely 8-15 minutes... the remaining 30km of the city give or take you’ll generally never really contend with that kind of traffic and would easily always have a free lane to overtake other cyclists at your leisure. But even I work and live right smack in the described centre and have no problem maintaining +30kmph on my commute.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That was one of my major problems with Amsterdam...dealing with motor scooters which have no place mixing with bicycle traffic.
Yeah I agree - thankfully actual scooter traffic here is lower than I’ve ever seen it... days go by between seeing one. Electric bikes are not a big problem for me personally as I still go faster than their upper limit - it’s merely a concern for the people riding them getting themselves hurt. The “scooters” plaguing Copenhagen right now is this type - But the rental services that dispersed them have thankfully just been banned.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Sorry but I don’t find myself losing any “freedom” riding here in the US without thousands to millions of my fellow citizens. I don’t even find it all that hard to ride with cars. It does take a certain attitude but it’s possible.
Of course I don’t know what kind of neighbourhood/city you live in and where you go on your bike for what purpose - so I can’t really comment on that. I can only relate my experience of cycling being an ingrained and default foundation for urban life - to living in various major cities where that was not the case.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
But, all things considered, I’d rather ride somewhere where there aren’t a whole lot of other people. I think most people would.
But some of us need/want to live where there are “a whole lot of other people”... and that’s the relevant context here I think? I’ll take 10 fellow cyclists over a car any day.

It may interest you that biking lanes technically span the entire (albeit small) country, I went on a 150km trip with the lady last year (her first “long” distance trip) and only 2km of that we had to share a road with motor traffic... and only because we wanted to avoid the detour the bike path would send us on. Granted we did have to suffer 5km of large gravel at one point... she was none too pleased with that
nuxx is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 04:50 PM
  #83  
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,600

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 80 Times in 61 Posts
AAAND this thread is now tedious.

unsub
RubeRad is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 06:12 PM
  #84  
nuxx 
Senior Member
 
nuxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 82

Bikes: Custom Di2 Carbon Flatbar, Trek Madone, Giant XTC Composit 29er, Trek FX 7.6

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
AAAND this thread is now tedious.

unsub
I'm so glad we were afforded this valuable contribution.
nuxx is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 06:27 PM
  #85  
nuxx 
Senior Member
 
nuxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 82

Bikes: Custom Di2 Carbon Flatbar, Trek Madone, Giant XTC Composit 29er, Trek FX 7.6

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
I have great respect for the many individuals here who commute by bike in automotive infrastructures, that takes dedication... I guess I'm just peeved when the few urban centres that truly embrace cycling are portrayed as a problem - especially by people who seemingly never lived there... I apologise if some of it came across overly defensive/argumentative.
nuxx is offline  
Old 06-19-19, 09:09 PM
  #86  
zenolee
Junior Member
 
zenolee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 14

Bikes: '80s Zebrakenko Wind, '80s Miyata 610, '94 Specialized RockHopper

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Even in New York City where bicycling has become a bit more mainstream, it's still a marginalized activity. Granted, we have excellent public transportation coverage and many parts are dense enough that you don't need anything other than your feet, but bicycling just makes so much sense to advocate as yet another option for transportation. Those who can afford the convenience of taxis and ridesharing don't think a second about the benefits of cycling.

There is also a large group of NIMBYs who actively want bicycling infrastructure and the bike sharing system (Citibike) destroyed. They will never admit it and disguise their tactics in the name of other things like safety, but ultimately, they're motivated by loss of automobile infrastructure, especially parking spaces on streets that are especially precious around the outer boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx)

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/nyregion/09bike.html

A pro-cycling blog sums up anti-bike sharing articles
https://gothamist.com/2018/05/25/cit..._flashback.php

Pullitzer prize winning journalist
Lunch With Dorothy Rabinowitz: How Citi Bikes and Jon Stewart Are Ruining America
zenolee is offline  
Old 06-20-19, 04:10 AM
  #87  
nuxx 
Senior Member
 
nuxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 82

Bikes: Custom Di2 Carbon Flatbar, Trek Madone, Giant XTC Composit 29er, Trek FX 7.6

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
You are from a different place, from a bicycle commuting perspective, than we are in the U.S. It's obvious that you are proud of your city's bicycle commuting culture, and there is no reason to apologize for that, in my opinion.
I dunno where your post went, but I appreciate the understanding of where I'm coming from and also the forbearance with my pride in our system
nuxx is offline  
Old 06-20-19, 04:53 AM
  #88  
Hasselhof
Senior Member
 
Hasselhof's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 119

Bikes: Merida Espresso 600 EQ

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
Because it means everyone is buying into it, everyone shares a cyclist mentality...
This, this, a million times this. To be able to cycle in a place where essentially everyone is conscious of bike users, of their own actions when near bike paths and on roads and how those actions are going to interact with the needs of the cyclists that surround them. I'd gladly embrace having to deal with a higher density of cycle traffic during my day to day travel for this.
Hasselhof is offline  
Likes For Hasselhof:
Old 06-20-19, 06:51 AM
  #89  
alois
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Arnhem
Posts: 39

Bikes: Avaghon series 28; Fuji Touring 2016; Santos Travelmaster 2.8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I've been reading this thred with growing surprise. Someone shows a video of the busiest cycle street in the Netherlands and then there are all kinds of comments about how busy it is there and that it it certainly is no cycling heaven. But you are just seeing a couple of hundred meters (exactly the busiest) of a very large cycling infrastructure. The same for the centre of Amsterdam. This is not typical for the whole of the Netherlands. City centers are busy, that's why they are city centers. But where the cycling infrastructure of The Netherlands shines is in connecting all the suburbs with the centers and with each other. If you want to experiece that, don't just go to the Smakkelaarsveld/Vredenburg or the centre of Amsterdam, but go to Houten and then cycle to the centre of Utrecht, go to Almere and cycle to Amsterdam, waving at the motorists in their traffic jam (yes, we also have them). Cycling heaven is not so much about being able to ride at whatever speed you want without anyone bothering you (the Utah Salt Flats are ideal for that) but about being able to ride to school with my four year old son, each on our own bicycle, on the street, without putting him into danger. And I'm glad his school isn't located on the Vredenburg.
alois is offline  
Likes For alois:
Old 06-20-19, 08:36 AM
  #90  
well biked 
biked well
 
well biked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7,276
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
I dunno where your post went, but I appreciate the understanding of where I'm coming from and also the forbearance with my pride in our system


Yeah, that was me who posted that. I did end up deleting the post, this thread is turning into a long one with much "debate" and I really don't have the time or energy to dive into all that right now. But I'm very glad you captured that last sentence of my post, it was a good summary of what I wanted to say.
well biked is offline  
Likes For well biked:
Old 06-20-19, 10:37 AM
  #91  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,639
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1333 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 33 Posts
This is what not what comes to mind when I think of cycling nirvana. More like a nightmare.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/idonotd...derground/amp/
alan s is offline  
Old 06-20-19, 11:10 AM
  #92  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,334

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2516 Post(s)
Liked 121 Times in 87 Posts
Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
Because it means everyone is buying into it, everyone shares a cyclist mentality... the city governance in particular, which actively favours cyclists over motor traffic in planning. Yes it does mean you’re not special/niche anymore for being a cyclist... but I don’t see why that should be desirable in itself.

You’re practically describing a hobby... plenty of residents here also own racing bikes and do go out on longer trips in the weekends and go on touring trips/vacations across Europe with panniers... all that still exists - this is about cycling being a de-facto element in personal mobility for *everyone* living here - not merely the dedicated few. Relatively few people in Copenhagen has any particular need/desire to own a car... efficient public transportation and cycling sorts out the vast majority of those needs... that unreliance on a motor vehicle is true freedom for us/me... this is where cycling culture becomes more than just an aesthetic.

Again... I’m talking about specifically an urban commuting and living context... not “enjoying cycling” as a pastime... nothing prohibits you from driving into the countryside here - where coincidentally you’ll also find bike paths as already described. I was never fond of Amsterdam’s solutions - I find its cycling affordances hugely overrated - but then I haven’t biked there for nearly a decade - so things may have changed (albeit reports suggest for the worse).
It doesn't have to be an either/or situation. Commuting by bicycle can be both utilitarian and enjoyable. And being one of a few who do it regularly doesn't make me special in any way other than making me "weird" in the eyes of my co-workers, friends and the general motoring public.


Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
I understand what you mean - yet I feel you’re conflating the notion of simply visiting vs living it... those are entirely different experiences and the value of the latter can only really be experienced/appreciated over time as a resident rather than visitor.
Again, most people who are romanticizing riding in someplace like Amsterdam or Copenhagen are doing so as visitors. As a resident of Denver, I can tell you ways of getting through town without having to deal with too much car traffic but as a visitor, those secrets aren't reveled so easily...especially if you are riding on your own. I've had my own experiences with lots of US cities where if I lived there I would have known not to ride in the places where I rode.

But, from the posts I've read over many years, most people here have a very different view of places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen than reality dictates.

Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
I mean... you’re walking pretty fast then! I merely describe that pace as a fairly basic level anyone should be able to control without any particular experience... the area where you may see the kind of congestion you’re worried about spans little more than 2-3km... even if you had to stick to 15kmph - you’d be through it in merely 8-15 minutes... the remaining 30km of the city give or take you’ll generally never really contend with that kind of traffic and would easily always have a free lane to overtake other cyclists at your leisure. But even I work and live right smack in the described centre and have no problem maintaining +30kmph on my commute.
Again, look at this through the eyes of a visitor. Most people who are visiting (and riding a bicycle) are going to be riding in the heart of the city. I agree that there is little to no traffic outside of the cities but most people are going to be shocked at how much bicycle traffic there is inside the cities and how undisciplined it seems. The ride I did through the middle of Amsterdam was from A4 at the Amstel River, north to Stadhouderskada and then to Overtoom. That's right on the edge of the touristy part of Amsterdam. At 1500 in the afternoon, that route was packed with people....and not a few stupid scooters. I was expecting far fewer people, wider bicycle lanes and better design. I was rather shocked at how narrow the paths were, how they had curves placed in them for no apparent reason and how rude the scooter people were. I could get used to it (and learn how to curse fluently in Dutch) but it is a bit shocking to visitors.

Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
Yeah I agree - thankfully actual scooter traffic here is lower than I’ve ever seen it... days go by between seeing one. Electric bikes are not a big problem for me personally as I still go faster than their upper limit - it’s merely a concern for the people riding them getting themselves hurt. The “scooters” plaguing Copenhagen right now is this type - But the rental services that dispersed them have thankfully just been banned.
I read recently that motor scooters had been banned from Amsterdam's bike paths. We are plagued with electric scooters as well. Docked bikes were bad enough but the scooters are truly a menace.

Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
I have great respect for the many individuals here who commute by bike in automotive infrastructures, that takes dedication... I guess I'm just peeved when the few urban centres that truly embrace cycling are portrayed as a problem - especially by people who seemingly never lived there... I apologise if some of it came across overly defensive/argumentative.
You (and others) miss my point. You are used to riding in those conditions. Most people would find it more of a culture shock then they expect because they are expecting something else entirely. What I am trying to do is inform people what to expect so that the shock is lessened somewhat. I'm not saying to not ride there nor am I saying that it is all that bad. I just saying that it's not what someone might be expecting if they have never ridden in those kinds of conditions.
__________________
Stuart Black
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-20-19, 12:52 PM
  #93  
robertorolfo
Senior Member
 
robertorolfo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Queens, NY for now...
Posts: 1,036

Bikes: 82/82 Lotus Unique, 86 Lotus Legend, 89 Basso PR

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 592 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by zenolee View Post
I spent 5 days in Copenhagen. I was too intimidated to use a bicycle. In the center, it's a highway with seemingly lots of unwritten rules about passing, signaling, etc. As a tourist it would have been chaos, not knowing where I'm going. The cyclists all had agendas and destinations while I would have just been going haphazardly and interfering with the locals.
This is part of a bigger issue in iconic cities all over the world. Tourism is impeding on the everyday lives of local residents, and many times with a significant impact on the quality of life for those residents (prices of goods and services, housing prices, overcrowding...)

I respect your decision to abstain if you didn't feel up to it. I wish more people were as considerate as you are.

Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
In a metropolitan context I would totally classify New York (at least Lower Manhattan where I did most of the walking) as a walking nirvana... just as CPH is easily bicycle-commuting heaven compared to pretty much any other +2mil metropolitan area.
Absolutely. It's a walking nirvana because you can find just about anything within walking distance.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Certainly, in NYC, we do expect you to walk. And it isn't exactly orderly or predictable. But yes, walking is normal, and there is a lot of it happening. As a native New Yorker, I do get impatient with tourists who don't realize that the sidewalks are a place for TRAFFIC, pedestrian traffic. I want to make a spraypaint stencil to put on the sidewalks: "Welcome to New York. Please walk faster. Keep right, pass left."
People need to be told upon arriving here that during business hours they need to do everything 2X as fast as they might normally do it. And to consciously and actively stay the heck out of the way.

Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
Yeah I agree - thankfully actual scooter traffic here is lower than I’ve ever seen it... days go by between seeing one. Electric bikes are not a big problem for me personally as I still go faster than their upper limit - it’s merely a concern for the people riding them getting themselves hurt. The “scooters” plaguing Copenhagen right now is this type - But the rental services that dispersed them have thankfully just been banned.
Now THAT is a civilized and rational society.

Originally Posted by zenolee View Post
Even in New York City where bicycling has become a bit more mainstream, it's still a marginalized activity. Granted, we have excellent public transportation coverage and many parts are dense enough that you don't need anything other than your feet, but bicycling just makes so much sense to advocate as yet another option for transportation. Those who can afford the convenience of taxis and ridesharing don't think a second about the benefits of cycling.

There is also a large group of NIMBYs who actively want bicycling infrastructure and the bike sharing system (Citibike) destroyed. They will never admit it and disguise their tactics in the name of other things like safety, but ultimately, they're motivated by loss of automobile infrastructure, especially parking spaces on streets that are especially precious around the outer boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx)
New York was never a bike friendly city. Despite being relatively flat, I suspect it was just a question of size, along with other convenient transportation options. People need to respect longtime NY'ers that still see it as such.

I ride a bike in the city, but I don't think we need to be pushing cycling on the city at any expense. I ride a bike and I generally can't stand Citibikes. Noglider has helped me see some of their positive aspects (he can grab one when he doesn't have one of his bikes with him, for example), but I still see them as a net negative.

And yes, the outer boroughs are for cars. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. I'm sick of transplants showing up to Brooklyn (and now Queens), gentrifying neighborhoods and as part of their takeover telling locals that they shouldn't have cars.
robertorolfo is offline  
Old 06-20-19, 01:13 PM
  #94  
base2 
Senior Member
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 980

Bikes: N+1

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 515 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 68 Times in 47 Posts
When I spent 10 days there in Amsterdam last summer, the only surprise was a few gas powered scooters. I had zero expectations going in, and thus was not disappointed at all. I was in fact delighted. The ready accessibility & freedom to navigate unimpeeded was something I'd never experienced as a grown-up.

The above posters are correct on the culture shock aspect. Cycling is just nothing special or out of the ordinary like it is in many places. It is common, bordering on mundane. It couldn't possibly be more un-noteworthy & average.

Coming from a middling dense metropolis (Seattle...from about a million posts ago) I didn't see any real difference between risk/reward calculations or skills necessary from navigating by bike among bikes to that of navigating around cars.

Nirvana? Maybe only by comparison from Americas car centric/bike hostile culture. I'm not sure if American cities will ever get there. But definitely a good model of what any city could be.

As my weekly cycling group friend from Leinden once said: "There is no reason to boast when you are so obviously right."
(Could she possibly be more Dutch?)

Last edited by base2; 06-20-19 at 01:16 PM.
base2 is offline  
Old 06-20-19, 03:30 PM
  #95  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
Thread Starter
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,294

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 432 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5523 Post(s)
Liked 151 Times in 109 Posts
@robertorolfo, why do you find Citi Bike to be a net negative?

Hold back on your disdain for gentrifiers. If you haven't been one, you might be one in the future. I was one. We all need places to live. I don't believe in telling people they can't own cars, but I do believe in getting car drivers to pay their costs, which they're currently not doing with the road maintenance, their effects on traffic and their free parking. And they should be thanking me for not driving because it makes life better for them.

There has been too much catering to car traffic in the city for several generations. It will take several generations to unwind that, if it ever happens. I hope it does, but I won't live to see the results.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 06-21-19, 04:28 AM
  #96  
nuxx 
Senior Member
 
nuxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 82

Bikes: Custom Di2 Carbon Flatbar, Trek Madone, Giant XTC Composit 29er, Trek FX 7.6

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
This is what not what comes to mind when I think of cycling nirvana. More like a nightmare.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/idonotd...derground/amp/
Then picture the spatial parking requirement for the same amount of single driver cars, the corresponding pollution and road infrastructure, consider the impact both have on both public health and the urban landscapes around... and perhaps reconsider your disposition? "Cycling Nirvana" in an urban commuting context is as much, if not even more about all the peripherary and ambient effects of displacing motorized traffic with cycling.

​​​​
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
It doesn't have to be an either/or situation. Commuting by bicycle can be both utilitarian and enjoyable.
Certainly, but your described prerequisites for enjoyment seem to prohibit ubiquitous urban biking culture? However, you may find this interesting.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The ride I did through the middle of Amsterdam was from A4 at the Amstel River, north to Stadhouderskada and then to Overtoom. That's right on the edge of the touristy part of Amsterdam. At 1500 in the afternoon, that route was packed with people....and not a few stupid scooters. I was expecting far fewer people, wider bicycle lanes and better design. I was rather shocked at how narrow the paths were, how they had curves placed in them for no apparent reason and how rude the scooter people were. I could get used to it (and learn how to curse fluently in Dutch) but it is a bit shocking to visitors.
I perfectly agree with your assessment of bike paths in Amsterdam. If my experience from a decade ago holds up, they are landscaped unpredictably and marked poorly often seemingly as a superficial addendum/afterthought to existing infrastructure. So they were also shocking to me, as a resident of Copenhagen given Amsterdam's reputation as a biking city. But as has been indicated before in this thread, in a Dutch context it's probably rather the outer infrastructure and places like Utrecht that truly deserve those accolades.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You (and others) miss my point. You are used to riding in those conditions. Most people would find it more of a culture shock then they expect because they are expecting something else entirely. What I am trying to do is inform people what to expect so that the shock is lessened somewhat. I'm not saying to not ride there nor am I saying that it is all that bad. I just saying that it's not what someone might be expecting if they have never ridden in those kinds of conditions.
No I just think we're talking past each other. I (think I) perfectly understand your point. You wish to manage expectations for starry eyed cycling enthusiasts about the potentially unwelcoming nature of urban centres with ubiquitous biking culture.

I'm simply seeking to:

1. Dispel a little bit of what I consider rather hyperbolic descriptions of the actual circumstances, I have taken many (in this context) novices biking in Copenhagen - they have always managed to get the hang of it... significant congestion is really limited to a small number of central intersections - that generally have plenty of room for exactly this reason.

2. Emphasise that while I understand the apprehension of sharing your biking lane with a plethora of strangers, I'll contend that the fundamental benefits of being part of a communal biking culture vs being a unicorn in a motorized world is something you probably need to experience as an element of daily life to really appreciate - and before you determine whether it constitutes "nirvana" or not.


Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
This is part of a bigger issue in iconic cities all over the world. Tourism is impeding on the everyday lives of local residents, and many times with a significant impact on the quality of life for those residents (prices of goods and services, housing prices, overcrowding...)
Amen, however - with cycling we're mostly forbearing about tourists trying to bike here (and here I mean people who really have never touched a bike before) since it's a part of our culture we're passionate about sharing (as you may have noticed here....). I'd wager mostly everyone in this forum would in praxis manage to blend in fairly unproblematically given you're all very experienced cyclists in other contexts... once you recover from the "shock"


Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
People need to be told upon arriving here that during business hours they need to do everything 2X as fast as they might normally do it. And to consciously and actively stay the heck out of the way.
Exactly my kind of walking!


Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
I ride a bike in the city, but I don't think we need to be pushing cycling on the city at any expense. I ride a bike and I generally can't stand Citibikes. Noglider has helped me see some of their positive aspects (he can grab one when he doesn't have one of his bikes with him, for example), but I still see them as a net negative.
Like @noglider I often use the electric citybikes here as a filler in my transportation... I love it. *ANYTHING* supplanting *ANY* kind of fossil fuel driven transportation is welcome in my book, and these will typically get you there much faster than a cab. The problem with public citybikes (apart from poor maintenance and often terrible performance) is generally when they're installed in cities with inadequate biking infrastructure. Then you get novices riding them in a hostile motorized environment which is just a recipe for disaster.


Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
And yes, the outer boroughs are for cars. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.
Don't stop dreaming/imagening... here we have ongoing efforts to mitigate car dominance outside the city centre by building out our biking infrastructure to connect various suburbs even better with "biking super-highways" that cut over/under/through motorized traffic... it really works: https://supercykelstier.dk/wp-conten...te-UK-2018.pdf ...I'm aware much more fundamental shifts are required in the US before anything like that is even remotely relevant to consider - but don't limit your overall vision to the motorized status quo.

Last edited by nuxx; 06-21-19 at 06:19 AM.
nuxx is offline  
Old 06-21-19, 04:47 AM
  #97  
nuxx 
Senior Member
 
nuxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 82

Bikes: Custom Di2 Carbon Flatbar, Trek Madone, Giant XTC Composit 29er, Trek FX 7.6

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
The “scooters” plaguing Copenhagen right now is this type - But the rental services that dispersed them have thankfully just been banned.
Now THAT is a civilized and rational society.
Hehe, the scooter companies are getting desperate, check out their reply to the regulation in this awkwardly google translated article ...I have no idea how google came up with "elephant wheels" ...but I think you get the gist of it.
nuxx is offline  
Old 06-21-19, 08:41 AM
  #98  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,639
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1333 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 33 Posts
Originally Posted by nuxx View Post
Then picture the spatial parking requirement for the same amount of single driver cars, the corresponding pollution and road infrastructure, consider the impact both have on both public health and the urban landscapes around... and perhaps reconsider your disposition? "Cycling Nirvana" in an urban commuting context is as much, if not even more about all the peripherary and ambient effects of displacing motorized traffic with cycling.
That would be a lot of cars, but my understanding is that people there are not leaving cars at home and riding a bike. They are choosing cycling over public transportation, which requires little if any parking. Bottom line is that too much of anything is a bad thing, and in my opinion, that is way too many bikes to contend with.
alan s is offline  
Old 06-21-19, 09:58 AM
  #99  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 27,732

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 100 Times in 66 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
That would be a lot of cars, but my understanding is that people there are not leaving cars at home and riding a bike. They are choosing cycling over public transportation, which requires little if any parking. Bottom line is that too much of anything is a bad thing, and in my opinion, that is way too many bikes to contend with.
Same argument is applicable to the Uber-Lyft ride hailing phenomena in crowded urban areas such as Manhattan traffic problems -no reduction in traffic congestion. Smartphone app connected ride hailing is being used not as an alternative to the passengers' personal motor vehicle, but instead as an alternative to public transportation or medallion taxis.

There are good reasons for choosing Uber, Lyft or bicycles to get around in cities but earning bragging rights for reducing traffic congestion is not one of those reasons.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-21-19, 10:12 AM
  #100  
nuxx 
Senior Member
 
nuxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 82

Bikes: Custom Di2 Carbon Flatbar, Trek Madone, Giant XTC Composit 29er, Trek FX 7.6

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
That would be a lot of cars, but my understanding is that people there are not leaving cars at home and riding a bike. They are choosing cycling over public transportation, which requires little if any parking. Bottom line is that too much of anything is a bad thing, and in my opinion, that is way too many bikes to contend with.
I can't speak for that particular location, but according to the material I linked to above, roughly 25% of the new traffic on the suburban -> downtown cycle highways here is replacing car traffic. And the expansion of this infrastructure along with e-bike pricing and availability are increasingly shifting commuters from cars to bikes. Good public transit of course makes a viable alternative to cycling on certain routes, but still doesn't afford nearly the same degree of flexibility and speed that a car does across suburbs - cycling does, however... and is quite often preferred to driving on trips within the city here.

But back to the imagery, without having been there myself (even though my sister lived there for 2 years, shame on me), I think Utrecht is a bit of an edge case given a relatively small urban centre with a fairly large metropolitan catchment area... and thus presumably relatively few (the station being one) urban traffic nexi. Copenhagen as an example yields a larger urban centre with several traffic nexi and therefore a comparatively lower concentration in terms of parking (and basically every workplace has dedicated bike parking space). But taking it a bit further... seeing that this location is the central station (though knowing practically nothing about Dutch commute patterns across cities) - perhaps Utrecht also serves as a gateway for people continuing their commutes by train to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, merely 20 and 40 minutes away respectively? Considering this hypothetical bike->Utrecht->train to major city pattern - this "hub" can indeed be presumed to replace at least some amount of car traffic which would otherwise head directly into either of those major cities. I have a Dutch friend whom I've visited in the past - I certainly remember the highway queues on the inroads to Amsterdam and her muted road rage ...would love for someone from the area to confirm or reject this theory?

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
There are good reasons for choosing Uber, Lyft or bicycles to get around in cities but earning bragging rights for reducing traffic congestion is not one of those reasons.
Maybe true for some places, not true for others. I can tell you that roughly everyone living in Copenhagen who owns a car also owns a bike - and for them (us) the choice is often between one of the two... as in many cases the bike is simply less hassle than contending with traffic... public transit is far less on most of these people's radar - in this quite typical instance that choice directly impacts/alleviates motorised traffic congestion. But it is predicated on having proper biking infrastructre, making the bike an actually compelling alternative to the car.

Last edited by nuxx; 06-21-19 at 10:27 AM.
nuxx is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.