all about bicycling in the Netherlands
They don’t wear it often but the Dutch do have cycle gear! When the rain comes pouring down the Dutch suddenly show they can dress up for cycling. But of course, as with everything regarding cycling in the Netherlands the kind of gear to protect from the rain is perfectly suited for everyday upright cycling.
All these people can be seen in the video I shot during morning rush hour in Utrecht last week. It was one of the few mornings that the rain really came pouring down, which doesn’t happen all too often*. What also becomes very clear from this video is that there are many pedestrians in the Netherlands. From my videos some people get the impression that the Dutch don’t walk, but that is not true. You often don’t see pedestrians because these two types of traffic are also mostly separated from each other. Just like cycling is not combined with motorised traffic. Here the two flows of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists, do meet and it shows. The main conclusion that can be drawn from this video: most of the Dutch do not stop cycling for a bit of rain. And they don’t really have to in a country where it is even safe to cycle with misted up glasses and holding an umbrella with one hand.
This is my last post of the year. I wish you all Fijne Kerstdagen en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar (a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!).
*On the site [translated] “it hardly ever rains” a man debunks the myth that it always rains in the Netherlands. After counting his rides for three years they turn out to be wet in only 11.99% of the time. He counts all rain, so the times that it really pours are even less.
This post was first published on Thursday, 22 December 2011 on the blog A view from the cycle path.
The original 10 comments:
Paul Martin said… Great post, Mark. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to both you, David and your families. Cheers, Paul 22 December 2011 00:41
Kevin Love said… It hardly every rains??!! The war diary of The Royal Regiment of Canada records that it rained every day in April 1945. My grandfather and I both served in The Royals; he fought in The Battle of Groningen in a drizzle of rain. It became a family idiom that when there was a long spell of light on-and-off rain he would say “The weather is being very Dutch today.” Fortunately, nobody was shooting at me when I was last in NL, but there was plenty of rain. 22 December 2011 03:59
Jim Moore said… But of course the Dutch cycle in the rain. After all, they’re not made of sugar! Thanks for a great year of posts to all involved in “A View”…the best cycling blog in the world!!! 22 December 2011 05:29
Joseph E said… Thank you for this video. I have seen a few videos of Copenhagen in winter, but not much of the Netherlands in bad weather. It will be helpful to show this to people in Portland. The committed core of “cyclists” here, about 1% of the population, has “gear” and will ride in any weather, including the frequent rain, but another 5% ride in fair weather. If our roads and streets had more subjective safety, and more separation from cars, more people would feel comfortable riding in the rain. There’s nothing like being splashed by a big truck, passing inches from your shoulder, to disuade someone from riding in the rain. 22 December 2011 05:56
michael said… Fijne Kerstdagen en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar to you both. Thank you for your informative and entertaining posts over the last year. Michael. 22 December 2011 08:47
Theo Z said… I like to make a nuance for “it hardly ever rains” (het regent bijna nooit). He’s reporting this for his daily commuting routes. Not the whole day! He wanted to make his colleges clear that they could go as well by bike, because ‘it hardly ever rains’. And a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you all! 22 December 2011 13:22
Michael S said… “Frohe Weihnachten und ein Glückliches Neues Jahr” to you and your family and all readers of this great blog. 22 December 2011 17:29
Slow Factory said… Umbrellas provide subjective dryness. 24 December 2011 01:38
Chafed said… Brought back good memories of bicycling in Utrecht. Best wishes to you and yours in 2012. 24 December 2011 21:42
Anonymous said… I don’t doubt that it rained every day in April ’45. It did not, however, rain all day, every day in April ’45. It’s quite conceivable that it only rained for only, say, 10% of the time during that month, and most of the rain is just a miserable drizzle that wouldn’t get you drenched even if you caught the entire day’s worth of rain. 24 December 2011 21:45