That's awesome! It's like a little documentary on the history of biking in Holland... Thanks for sharing this @Vandon. People respond to the price of gas and hopefully we will follow this path in the US and also "rise to the occasion" of making cycling a valid everyday option as well. When I see those big "critical mass" bike rides in cities I get a sense of power from younger generations who are taking back the streets. Cycling is fun, healthy and makes for thinner hotter ladies so sign me up!
The part about parking was neat, if you spend a lot on something like an ebike you definitely want it to be safe. Also, the trains... First we need trains and then we can make them bike friendly! Or maybe we can take the role of a follower nation that does it right the first time and learn from our global neighbors? I think this happened with the Internet where many nations outside the US leap-frogged us when they put in the infrastructure.
This video showed mostly regular pedal-power bikes but that's one of the big differences between high density areas and the way many towns and cities are setup in America. E-assist addresses the distance and makes cycling a valid option here but we still need the bike paths, parking and bike shares.
@Court - You are exactly right. It's a culture thing. I must force myself to remember that things like pedelec and throttles are luxurious features, as are Shimano shifting systems of any number. Amsterdam is no third world country but they have a biking culture. I am not sure how many Dutchmen you have met or Dutch girls for that matter. I can tell you that I have never met a fat one. I think pedaling is in their blood, which keeps the bike scene alive.
Here in TX, owning a truck that weighs more than four family cars in Europe is considered normal and cool, while biking is just something you do before you get your license to drive a truck. Good point about trains. Bikes and trains are completely relevant. When I lived in St. Louis, you could strap your bike to the front of the train and go places, just like on busses around the country now. Our biggest problem is the ownership of land.
One thing not discussed much when it comes to our lack of trains is the Civil War. It was strategic to sabotage railways to interrupt the movement of enemy supplies. Mass transit in the US never recovered from this. Nowadays, in order to gain land to build railways on, you would have to convince private landowners to sell their property for a fair price or even slightly more than what it is worth. Why lie... many landowners won't sell their American dream of owning a big space for even double the value. Most of them could care less about how the US is at the bottom of the list when it comes to transportation available to citizens in the world.
Another thing about biking here is that it is very much considered something that athletic guys do to prove that they are athletic guys! It's stupid. Check out the one-minute video that I just saw on Huffington. Here are a few girls that aren't waiting for someone to come pick them up in a truck to go out for coffee. Check out the article and the video below!
One thing not discussed much when it comes to our lack of trains is the Civil War. It was strategic to sabotage railways to interrupt the movement of enemy supplies. Mass transit in the US never recovered from this...
Very interesting, I had never heard this before... I agree that most people would hold their land and aren't a big fan of eminent domain or government taking their "rights" the way our ancestors did to the Native Americans. Love the video btw, those girls seem like a lot of fun, reminds me of the end of this bike review (around 7:00) where a girl in Canada basically cat calls me, teasing me during the video because I was on a girly bike with baskets and stuff
I love my step-through framed Pedego City Commuter. I haven't had anyone say anything (so far) about it being a girl-style bike. Probably wouldn't bother me if they did... I'm also the one guy in a Zumba class. LOL