We have a guest post this week from Fietsenexpert in The Netherlands. Here they tell us a little about the unique cycling culture that has developed in The Netherlands.
Cycling is at the heart of Dutch culture and society. Did you know there are even more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands?
The bike revolution
The bike revolution first began when the number of death on the roads began to increase. In 1971 more than 3,000 people were killed by motor vehicles, 450 of them children. In response, a social movement demanding safer cycling conditions for children was formed. The Dutch government invested in improved cycling infrastructure. They built a vast network of cycle paths to make cycling safer and more inviting. These paths are clearly marked, have flat surfaces, separate signs and lights for those on two wheels, and are wide enough to allow side-by-side cycling and overtaking.
On some small roads where the traffic must share the road, you can even see signs stating: ‘Bike street: Cars are guests’. Cyclists also have priority on roundabouts – the cars have to wait for you to cycle round before entering.
Dutch children learn to cycle early, sometimes even before they walk. For babies and toddlers there are balance bikes to help them learn how to balance on a bicycle. The next step is a bike with training wheels for stability, before trying out the real deal.
Most children go to school on a bike and schools always have enough bike parking spaces. Many Dutch teenagers also get around by bike since they aren't allowed to drive unsupervised until they are 18. Cycling offers Dutch teenagers an alternative form of freedom.
Experts in cycling
You have plenty of choice when looking for a new bike in the Netherlands. A new trend at the moment is for transportbikes, which have a rack on the front so you can carry your bag or a crate of beer. You can find these cool and practical transportbikes on our website. We are experts in cycling and have a variety of different bikes on offer as well as useful cycling tips for all you keen bikers.