Riding bikes with the Dutch
September 02, 2010
During a period of unprecedented momentum for urban bicycling in the U.S., the Bikes Belong Foundation is leading a fact-finding trip to the Netherlands to bring home European transportation best practices. Eleven city leaders from the San Francisco Bay Area will spend a week in four Dutch cities between August 29 and September 4. This trip is part of Bikes Belong's Bicycling Design Best Practices Project.
Transportation writer and editor Jay Walljasper is accompanying the delegation on the trip to the Netherlands to chronicle the events, observations, and inspirations gained by the tour. The BIkes Belong newsfeed will feature his blog posts this week.
For the past six days I have been talking bikes, riding bikes, practically eating and drinking bikes with a crew of public officials from the San Francisco Bay Area touring the Netherlands on a fact-finding mission.
Nearly everyone in the group admits they’ve been affected by the experiences here, and are heading home with fresh ideas about how to improve cycling in their own cities.
I will be writing more about all the practical innovations we encountered in four Dutch cities, including thoughts from the transportation leaders from San Francisco, San Jose, and Marin County about how to apply what they’ve seen here to the very different context of California in further blogs and articles appearing on the Bikes Belong website.
But in the meantime, let me offer you a glimpse of what biking in the Netherlands feels like by sharing a humorous video that Amsterdam city council member Fjodor Molenaar told us about us this morning at a meeting in the Mayor’s Residence.
It’s a trailer for a new movie called “Riding With the Dutch” in which American filmmaker Michael W. Bauch chronicles his family’s adventure swapping homes with a family in Amsterdam.