A Visit to Cycling Mecca

cars are separated from bikes are separated from pedestrians
I just got back from a European vacation, where I had the opportunity to spend a few days in what many American cycling activists think of as the Mecca of cycling:  Nederland. I spent most of one day rambling around Rotterdam on a borrowed bicycle. No particular destination in mind, just experiencing what it’s like to ride in a country where cycling is a normal, everyday mode of transportation.
a common street scene
bike parking at the train station
Bikes everywhere. Separated bikeways, painted red, on most larger roads. Separate beg buttons and lights for pedestrians and cyclists. Traffic circles have an outer ring for bikes.
Every possible kind of bike and every kind of person ON a bike. Bike parking everywhere.

I’d already heard that when you buy a bike in Nederlands it comes with lights and basket or rack. One feature I saw on bikes here is a permanently mounted device that locks the rear wheel; most folks also use a chain or cable around the frame, but the wheel lock just lives on the bike.

Dutch bike lock
It’s not just the infrastructure that’s better than ours, it’s the culture…DRIVERS ACTUALLY STOP FOR BIKES. A law was passed (not sure if it’s the whole country or just this city) that if a cyclist and a driver are in a collision the driver is ALWAYS at fault.
It was such a delight to ride all day around a major city without spending so much energy and anxiety monitoring traffic!
Click here for a very short video.