Kona Bikes: Discovering Amsterdam By Bike

Here’s a short video from Kona Bikes that I saw over on the Rolling Lifestyle blog about cycling in Amsterdam. Many say that Amsterdam is the cycling capital of the world, with around 40% of all trips made by bicycle. Forty percent! In the United States, the average trips made by bicycle are under 1% of all travel methods.

When watching the video, notice that the makeup of the urban cyclist spans all walks of life. The young, the old, male, female, and even mothers with children. Urban cycling is not just for the fitness nut, environmentalist, college student, or thrill seeker. Everyone does it.

I don’t think I saw a helmet or other bit of cycling gear in the video either. The city bikes they’re using aren’t built for speed, and nobody looks especially in a hurry. There are so many bikes, that there is safety in numbers. Motorists are expecting bikes and are patient with the cyclists. Additionally, they have built an amazing bicycling infrastructure in the city, adding more to the safety of cyclists. Only a few cities in the United States have come close to what Amsterdam has done. This video really shows what can be accomplished, and dismisses our American arguments that cycling is just not practical for everyday life.

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7 thoughts on “Kona Bikes: Discovering Amsterdam By Bike

  1. Great video Jeff!! I wish some of that mentality would filter in here in the US. There was a recent posting in our local paper about the tree hugging bike riders having taken things too far riding on busy streets. They thought we should be arrested. 😦 What a wonderful site it would be to see Americans riding their bikes like that ~ funny ~ I didn’t see any really FAT people in that video. Makes you go hmmmm… huh?

  2. Heck Yeah!! If cities were built to cater to cyclists…. many more would do it. Carson City is relatively flat and perfect for cycling. It would be rad if there were nice wide bike paths everywhere. so many more people would ride instead of driving. Plus kids and young adults would have so much more freedom. Imagine if the paths were safe enough for you to tell your kids to ride to their softball practice or wrestling practice, instead of driving them. AND cycling puts you in a good mood, it is just as fun when you are 7 as it is when you are 70.

  3. i have seen that video before and it should be an inspiration to us that it can be done. but one of the key ingredients besides a supportive governmental system is the people. not only do they support bicycle commuting but they support the cost too. and they choose to make sacrifices to see that it is successful and convenient. we do have to make changes, learn to live with less, closer to the population centers and willing to give up some personal space for the greater good.
    and with that sacrifice hopefully comes the joy of being able to live a healthier and happier lifestyle.

  4. The Risks of Cycling. Ken Kifer has a huge page with lots of stats and analysis. His conclusion is that cycling is not dangerous. Ironically, he was later killed while riding his bike.

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm

    ……
    It’s not for everybody and comparing Amsterdam to the US isn’t exactly apples to apples.

    Another good book, ‘Miles from Nowhere’ ends after thousands of miles are logged by a bicyclist and before the book is even published she is hit and killed…(sorry if you havent read the book).

    I’m for cycling but I’ve always felt every single time I ride on the the road that .. basically I’m a sitting duck. I’m at the mercy of everyone coming from behind which I do not feel when on a motorcycle or car. How do we change that feeling that most of us have???? Safer places to ride and that was obvious by the Freeway opening in Carson City. I had no idea that many people had bicycles but it’s my feeling they came to ride on a road that had no cars.

  5. I think we need to bribe a lobbyist whore who happens to be a cyclist. Shouldn’t be too hard. I heard last night for every congressperson there are 6 whores trying to sway his/her vote. When 1 percent of the the us(population) controls 95 percent of it’s assets cyclist are below the bottom rung..(no money to be made) not that we can’t rise up. just sayin…

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