You won’t melt in the rain… That is not the answer you want to hear as a teenager when you complain to your mother about having to cycle to school in the rain. And yet that is exactly the answer generations of Dutch mothers have been giving their children. It shows. Whenever it rains you can see groups of children cycling to and from school in the Netherlands just like any other day.
I had to think about this when I had to do an errand in Tilburg, about 25 kilometres south-west of my hometown ʼs-Hertogenbosch. This was on a Friday afternoon in mid-December (the 13th). It was 5.3 degrees and it had been raining all day long. According to the weather service for a total of 8.5 hours and there had been 7.4mm of rain. When I cycled back to the station I noticed many young people coming back from school. They were cycling in the rain, often in groups, just like I was. But there were not only children, many elderly, doing some shopping in town, rode just as well, often in rain gear. When you cycle as transportation you don’t stop doing that because of a bit of bad weather. You just wear appropriate rain gear. I found myself on the Netherlands’ first modern cycle route that had been built in Tilburg as part of a national experiment in the late 1970s. I have made a video and written a blog post about this route before.
To show you what it is like to cycle this excellent cycle route in the rain I decided to do a little extra loop and filmed the people I saw passing by. The video and this blog post show you what it is like to cycle in the rain in the Netherlands. Really not so very different from a dry day. At the end of the route I passed a tunnel that I had also shown you before. I decided to go through that tunnel as well. The lights art work was already working, but because it was not really dark yet that is not so visible.
Enjoy the pictures and the video. Cycling in the rain, it really isn’t that bad.
This week’s video: some cycling in the rain in Tilburg.