Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
I was watching something on TV, not even related to cycling, but it was in the Netherlands, and I saw some overweight, orange-shirted, hard hat-wearing construction worker riding a bike, presumably to his job. Can you imagine that, or has that ever even happened in the US? I don't know what it was about that particular person, or the type of job he had, but it's just something you'll probably never see here. I see guys in suits all the time, students, women in skirts, all manner of people, but macho tough-guy construction workers, hell no! "Biking is for those queer-o spandex wearing freaks, herp de derp!!!!!!!!!!"

Seems like cycling paradise over there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
Seems like cycling paradise over there!
As far as transportation and commuting goes, yeah, sure. But as far a recreation goes, not so much IMO. Granted I'm only familiar with Amsterdam but it's really not that much fun cycling there. Flat as a pancake, chaotic, crowded and bike theft is rampant. Being a recreation cyclist there is kind of like TT'ing on the MUT. It's just not the place for that type of cycling.

Same goes for Copenhagen (although theft isn't much of problem there) although I found Copenhagen to be much more fun to cycle around.

Sagen is being literal when he says peloton by the way. It's quite a amazing. Another amazing sight is the amount of bikes locked up at the train stations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,744 Posts
The cost of gasoline in the Netherlands is about triple that in the USA. Probably has something to do with it. Of course, all those gas taxes help to pay for free healthcare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
The cost of gasoline in the Netherlands is about triple that in the USA. Probably has something to do with it. Of course, all those gas taxes help to pay for free healthcare.
The history of cycling and why it's so big there is really interesting. particularly the role it played in nazi resistance.

Here's a link to a great book on the topic: CityOfBikes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
As far as transportation and commuting goes, yeah, sure. But as far a recreation goes, not so much IMO. Granted I'm only familiar with Amsterdam but it's really not that much fun cycling there. Flat as a pancake, chaotic, crowded and bike theft is rampant. Being a recreation cyclist there is kind of like TT'ing on the MUT. It's just not the place for that type of cycling.

Same goes for Copenhagen (although theft isn't much of problem there) although I found Copenhagen to be much more fun to cycle around.

Sagen is being literal when he says peloton by the way. It's quite a amazing. Another amazing sight is the amount of bikes locked up at the train stations.
I guess I'm talking more about cycling acceptance. You can just feel the disdain of almost all drivers here in the US for cyclists. And it doesn't help that the police and judicial system doesn't really hold cycling in high regard either (though that's a whole other discussion).
I love the terrain of my area, but riding the road gets more and more scary each year seemingly.

BTW, regarding pelotons, I went to UC Davis (though I'm sure a lot of other schools are similar) and that's exactly what it is...a peloton of (mostly clueless) riders! Bikes everywhere...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,061 Posts
As far as transportation and commuting goes, yeah, sure. But as far a recreation goes, not so much IMO. Granted I'm only familiar with Amsterdam but it's really not that much fun cycling there. Flat as a pancake, chaotic, crowded and bike theft is rampant. Being a recreation cyclist there is kind of like TT'ing on the MUT. It's just not the place for that type of cycling.

Same goes for Copenhagen (although theft isn't much of problem there) although I found Copenhagen to be much more fun to cycle around.

Sagen is being literal when he says peloton by the way. It's quite a amazing. Another amazing sight is the amount of bikes locked up at the train stations.
Bike theft is a smaller problem in Copenhagen but feel free to leave a bike of value outside. locked or not.....
Not sure what "type of cycling" you refer to. it's true there are no hills except Kopje which realistically is a speed bump but for racing you have a handful of crits per week in spring/summer/autumn (and still some in the winter) and a few hours away you are in ardennes.
Sure, getting out of Amsterdam is a bit of a hassle. Which city with a similar population is not?
 

·
Cycling Addict
Joined
·
5,174 Posts
In '91 I rode around and across the Netherlands in a few days. I got off the ferry at Hook of Holland, rode the MUT up through Den Haag to Zandvoort, then a normal road into Amsterdam. The next two days I headed south through Eindhoven and Maastricht and up onto the Guilpenberg before riding into Belgium and points southwest.

The nations network of bicycle routes - mostly MUTs but some on rural roads - is admirable. Every so often (it seemed like every 50 or 60km) there would be a large sign with a map of the region's trails, making it easy to choose your route. Many of these followed old canal towpaths and so made for quite lovely cycling. While overall the nation is too flat for my cycling tastes, I'd still rather live and cycle there than, say, Florida...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
The cost of gasoline in the Netherlands is about triple that in the USA. Probably has something to do with it. Of course, all those gas taxes help to pay for free healthcare.

That's hardly free my friend.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Migen21

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,637 Posts
I see guys in suits all the time, students, women in skirts, all manner of people, but macho tough-guy construction workers, hell no! "Biking is for those queer-o spandex wearing freaks, herp de derp!!!!!!!!!!"
A group of us were sitting outside a remote country store taking a break on a weekend bike ride. A guy with serious furniture disease (chest drops into the drawers) got out of his pickup and headed into the store with comment "I wish I had a job where I had to exercise outside of work." Classic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
I guess I'm talking more about cycling acceptance. You can just feel the disdain of almost all drivers here in the US for cyclists. And it doesn't help that the police and judicial system doesn't really hold cycling in high regard either (though that's a whole other discussion).
I love the terrain of my area, but riding the road gets more and more scary each year seemingly.

BTW, regarding pelotons, I went to UC Davis (though I'm sure a lot of other schools are similar) and that's exactly what it is...a peloton of (mostly clueless) riders! Bikes everywhere...
I definitely agree with you on that aspect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
Sure, getting out of Amsterdam is a bit of a hassle. Which city with a similar population is not?
I'm not going to kill an hour researching city populations in order to give you a precise answer but here is a list of bigish cities I've cycled in that I found more conducive to recreational road cycling either in the city or by ease of getting out of it:

Montreal
Boston
Quebec City
Copenhagen
Barcelona
Munich
Zurich

Admittedly the reason in at a least a couple cases might boil down to sht luck of my making better road/route choices than I did in Amsterdam.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top