Thursday 31 January 2013

Do We Need Some Dutch Courage?

By the time you are reading this I will (hopefully) be on my way to Amsterdam with the lovely people of BBC Scotland. Part of the plan is that I will be riding (in the rain, probably) a Dutch style bike, on Dutch style infrastructure wearing normal every day clothes (possibly not Dutch style clothes, but who knows....). I will however, be guaranteed to stick out like a sore thumb:

I will be wearing a helmet.

No, I'm not expecting the helmet will save my life, in fact I am expecting the cycling to be very safe indeed. I'm wearing it as a helmet camera holder! I promise though, I will not be screaming like a girl in any of the footage.

I am going to Amsterdam as someone who understands all of the theory behind proper cycle infrastructure. I am also going as someone who is desperate for Scotland to learn from a city and a country that knows how to design for people as well as people in cars. Personally it should be very interesting as I have absolutely no experience of cycling on properly designed infrastructure, unless this counts.

I am certain that it will be an eye opening experience, and I will be keeping a very open mind to everything I see and ride on.

Whilst there, myself and the BBC will also be talking to some Dutch cycling experts and asking their views on what can turn a sedentary, which Scotland most definitely is nation into a cycling nation, which the Netherlands most definitely is!

Surely the Netherlands was always a cycling nation....weren't they?

So if you are interested in following my progress real time, follow me on my Twitter feed, oh and while you are at it, make sure you follow Pedal on Parliament as well.


  1. No, the Dutch weren't always a cycling nation. In the 1960s and '70s the decline was the same, but thanks to grass roots movements and the oil crisis traffic policies changed to the positive. It can happen everywhere, but it takes some time.

  2. It was great to show our cycling culture to you. Good luck in Scotland.

    Watch this short video, if you wanta know more about the dutch cycling histror: