Thursday, June 03, 2010

Bicycle Rush Hour

In the Netherlands (you can get the gist of these after a few seconds):

In rain:

In snow:

I wonder what the original impetus was. To save fuel? To get exercise? To reduce traffic?

I bet it would be a great job being a bicycle mechanic there.


virginia said...

I arrived in Amsterdam at night, and walked out of the train station, into snow and bike traffic. It was magical!

A friend, whose mother is Dutch, told me to bring an umbrella for the snow - nearly all the bike riders were holding umbrellas.

I think bikes were convenient, gas was expensive, and the cities, compact. I loved it (museum heaven), but dodged bikes until I figured out the unspoken traffic rules.

Perovskia said...

Well, I sort of think it's in their blood and it's just carried down through generation.

The first video is crazy; I love that it's in fast-forward.

It's fascinating how they just all.. meld together. No crashes, just a constant flow.

Autumn Hoverter, MS, RD said...

If only it were as flat where I live! How absolutely wonderful!

Ben said...

Bike mechanics would be busy. All those broken chains and changing snow tires. Most people would probably get the hang of fixing basic things, flats and the like.

Bix said...

Perovskia, you and my friend said something similar. You mentioned flow and no crashes, he said they seemed polite, "no asshole behavior." Maybe it's something that develops when you want all that up-closeness to work. With cars, there's a lot of metal between you and the next guy. You're more protected. They don't even wear helmets!

I don't know though, there's probably stuff going on I don't notice because I'm not used to it. I did see someone pull ahead by riding on the sidewalk.

Bix said...

Snow tires!

Perovskia said...

Snow tires!

Well that's the funny thing between North Americans and Europeans... they don't mind giving up their space. They've had to live 10 people to a hole in a basement to escape the Gestapo (my family had to do this) and I think those mental attributes (for lack of better term) carried down through the years. We are selfish, I'm sorry. We can be close, but I think we still want our space. Not saying there's anything wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

Given, I'm in Stockholm, not Amsterdam, and for me it's about saving on transportation (Stockholm was counted as the most expensive public transit on the globe last year; and insurance prices/congestion fees make driving a car illogical). I fix my bike myself, too (woman here! bicycles are not complicated). Besides, taking a broken bicycle to a mechanic is quite painful (usually situated in very inconvenient locations, and take long to fix your problem :) )