All about cycling in the Netherlands
A sunny June morning at 8 o’clock on a busy bicycle street in the center of Utrecht (Netherlands). The camera captured 20 minutes of people passing; hundreds of them and most are on a bicycle. They are going to work, school, study, or they are taking their children to school or day-care. We see a cross-section of the Utrecht population (300,000). Young, old, of every possible background, just going about their daily routine.
The video is sped up to get a quicker view, sometimes up to 8 times. But there are parts in normal speed too, to have an even better look at examples of just how normal cycling is to the Dutch. Remember: anyone Dutch watching this video sees nothing unusual. To anyone from the Netherlands this is a very ordinary street.
We see chatting school girls trying to keep their balance, people texting and calling on mobile phones, a bike messenger in full gear and with a helmet, men in suits, a guy with no hands on the handlebars while he is adjusting his head phones, a woman smoking, and a guy jumping on the back rack of his girl friend’s bike. They just took the bike from the racks. Many other people are parking their bikes. We see a lot of ‘public transport bicycles’, the bikes with blue and yellow fenders. Rented at the Central Railway Station that is just behind the camera. Trains pass all the time, as can be heard. There are birds singing in the trees and an accordion is played the entire duration of the video in the tunnel under the railway tracks.
The street is a bicycle street. Cars may enter, but it is a cul-de-sac for them, not for the bikes. This is a main artery for cyclists. In the background we see motorized traffic pass on a dual carriage way which is used by a lot of buses too. The light rail trains run every few minutes in the median of the road. Mopeds may use this bicycle street as well and it is striking how loud they are. However, the loudest noise of the video is the municipal street sweeping vehicle that passes as well.
The video shows 20 minutes so you can see the bicycles come in a constant flow. There was no bridge open. This is a normal amount of cyclists that can be found in any Dutch city.
Morning rush hour near Utrecht central station in Summer