“This is an Amsterdam bike. A transport bike because you can load a lot of stuff on it. It is very robust. I got it in Holland when I lived there and I have had it for five years now. I bought it to bring my daughter to school. In Amsterdam, everybody uses the bike like that. But I am here now for a new job.”
Notes: The overwhelming presence of bicycles in Holland, along with the incredible infrastructure, has given rise to aspects of riding that would shock a lot of North Americans. Children are ferried to and from school on bikes, sitting on rear carriers, cross-tube seats, handlebars, or in the cargo bay of the larger cargo bikes. Its is not limited to children. One of the most common images is two people on one bike, the passenger sitting casually on the rear carrier, chatting with the rider.The other great shock is the near complete absence of helmets. If North Americans think helmets are an essential aspect of their dress, the Dutch have turned in the other direction. In the city, with commuters, speeds are rarely that high. The greater threat has always been from drivers in cars and trucks whose actions are life threatening. Get the drivers to be part of a cycling culture and safety leaps ahead.