Being Dutch with Bikes

The Dutch government is taking firm measures to discourage cars. Sundays are no car days, SUVs are taxed, and the more you pollute the more you pay. Read on and rejoice. And check the 3-level bike parking structure in this Amsterdam documentary

During Interbike we’ll look for the Dutchness and blog it up. New models are coming to the US from Batavus, including the Lightning.



4 Comments

Thank you, People of the Netherlands for setting an example for the rest of us. You are our inspiration and prove that being a developed nation and motorizing it don’t have to go together.

Riding a bike should be easy and relaxed for all people.  The Dutch use their bikes as transport appliances to get around.
Simple.
It’s been inspiring to have people who haven’t been on a bike in 20 years come into my shop and just feel at ease with the simplicity of the dutch design.  There is a compromise in riding these bikes.  The “dutchness” is evident when you just sit upright and enjoy the bike ride.

yeah ... you can pick up a bicycle from 25 dollars ... but that means it has been stolen from somebody else ... 25 dollars is the price for a ‘hot’ bicycle. A used honest bicycle will cost you at least 250 dollars..

Brilliant! Indeed, the Dutch not only have the urban infastructure to support cycling but also political infastructure - which we sorely lack in North America. These are further correlated to a bicycle industry in Holland that is devoted to developing the infastructure of a proper city bike, which is why the Dutch bikes look so different from what is offered in North America. I have been selling Batavus (out of our Curbside Cycle location: www.curbside.on.ca) for about a year now to consumers that are North American but might as well be Dutch. They leave their bikes outside year round and worry about rust, they want something theft resistant, they want absolute safety and comfort, they demand minimal maintenance and above all, they want to keep their clothing sparkling clean. The Batavus answers each of these objections. These people are urban professionals or Sunday window shoppers, people that want to do everything on their bike but so far their bike has been the largest inhibiting factor. I figure that if we start selling the right bikes this can only help nurture the urban and political imagination that will one day implement more cycling programs and more bike lanes in North America. If the bike is to become the muse of urban planners - as it is already becoming - we had better start getting people on the right bikes. I say this after destroying yet another pair of pants on my oily exposed chain. I think the North American bicycle industry owes every cycle commuter at least one pair of pants!

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