Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Dutch Shopping Trip by bike

Imagine riding your bike 2km to a supermarket. Imagine being able to ride your bike right up to the doors, in through the doors and to park it inside. Imagine doing your shopping while enjoying a free cup of coffee. Then, imagine riding home again.

Now, imagine doing this on cycle infrastructure so good that you can hold a digital camera in one hand in front of you while doing it. 2km, on a loaded bike one-handed.

Impossible? In Darlington: yes. In Assen, where bike paths are gritted, well surfaced, get right of way when crossing roads, bypass traffic lights and traffic lights, and are of a decent width: no.

David Hembrow explains how it is possible on his excellent blog, A View From the Cycle Path and you can watch it for yourself in the video below.

2 comments:

inconvenient truth said...

"good cycle facilities are also useful for people with disabilities".

A good comment to make next time you pass a wheelchair user on a cycle path.

David Hembrow said...

I should perhaps point out that it is very common to see those electric buggies on the cycle paths here. They provide somewhere safe to use them.

You also see a lot of handcycles (some children ride handcycles to school, so disabled children also get to cycle to school).

Let's not forget that normal bicycles are also very useful for people who are not necessarily able to walk terribly well. They reduce the impact of walking, so many people can cycle further than they can walk. Walking stick and crutch holders attached to front forks are a fairly common sight (I think the hospital hands them out with crutches).