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April 07, 2008

Bent u een Fietser?


Do YOU Bicycle?


For over 5 years that question has been the one I've asked on this blog as I spread the word that The Cycling Dude is a place "Dedicated to the proposition that bike riding is good for you and fun", and has the stories, and links to resources, to prove it.

Yesterday I linked to a story, out of The Netherlands, and this morning I received an interesting e-mail from David Hembrow, of Hembro Cycling Holidays/Cycling Study Tours, that serves as an interesting follow-up:

Hi Kiril,

Thanks very much for posting about the Study Tour.

I really hope we can make a difference worldwide with this.

We visited here many times before we emigrated.

It's quite remarkable how this country can be so close to, and easy to visit from the UK, yet even from the UK there is hardly any understanding of what has been achieved in the Netherlands.

Given this, I think it's hardly surprising that it's also not well known in the US.

I sent out thousands of copies of the press release and I'm afraid I can't say for certain how I found your contact details.

I searched for blogs about cycling at one point, so I suspect that is where I found you.

The question on your website, "Do U Bicycle?", would translate into Dutch as "Bent u een fietser?".

However, it is effectively meaningless. Of course they cycle. Everyone cycles. They'd think you're asking if they race bicycles.

I've continued reading in Dutch (which I'm still learning) and English about what is going on here and of course I've kept riding around.

I'm still learning.

It's really remarkable how cycling has become so much a part of the Dutch culture. For instance, I read a few days ago that over three quarters of Dutch people take at least one cycling holiday each year.

Anyway, thank you for helping to get the message out.

As I'm sure you are aware, it's far from just the US which could learn from this.

I'd like to wake people up in the UK about how, despite the huge amounts of paperwork coming from the country where I was born, they're doing nothing useful at all, and in fact watching cycling continue to decline.

I really hope we manage to raise awareness a bit.

It's not just about cycling, but about society (people have to talk to each other when they cycle instead of drive and Dutch society is very peaceful as a result) and about freedom: there is no group in society here which doesn't have personal mobility and that includes children who are not reliant on having parents taxiing them around.



If you haven't already, I encourage you to check out the articles, and videos, David shares on his sites, and on YouTube.

The videos, especially, are an eye-opener. ;-D

April 7, 2008 in Voices From The Open Road | Permalink


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