The Netherlands has the highest cycling mode share in the world, with 83% of people commuting to work by bike. This is even more remarkable because it puts them ahead of countries that have very high rates for other forms of transportation like cars, buses, and trains.
The Netherlands’ success in cycling actually began during World War II when there was a gas shortage. They needed an alternative means of transportation. And so they created a plan to build cycle tracks which were free at the time.
Since then the country has become a cycling utopia, and it’s not just because of the bikes.
In fact, you won’t find any bike lanes in Amsterdam, which are usually labeled as “infrastructure” in other cities. But in Amsterdam, they’re called “fietsenbuurt”, which means “bike district”. Some say that if you want to learn how to cycle properly then you should start in Amsterdam.
Here are some other reasons why the Netherlands is a cycling giant:
* They don’t let cars block the bike lanes; they’re just as important as sidewalks and streets for pedestrians, cars, and bicycles. Even in situations where streets need to be narrowed to accommodate pedestrians, the most important thing is to preserve bike lanes.
* They make it easy for people of all ages and abilities to cycle by providing safe places for beginners, along with plenty of bike parking and infrastructure.
* Amsterdam offers all the facilities you need in a city. They have bike parking, showers for cyclists, and even bicycle chop shops that can fix your bike for free (though it’s illegal for them to do so).
* The Netherlands has one of the most active cycling cultures in the world. They promote cycling in every way, with races; bike-only areas for cycling; and even set times for dinner, so people can get a workout before eating.
* The Dutch have been innovative with their cycle culture, creating new things like special bike lanes for kids and bikes that will track how much time you’ve spent biking as well as calories burnt. They even gave away free bikes to everyone during the summer of 2014! It’s safe to say that they’re onto something special.
* The Dutch know that building more roads doesn’t help anyone’s cause. In fact, it makes traffic worse because the Netherlands has added more roads and cars have increased too. So in Amsterdam, They have established the biking culture instead of extending roads. The bikers are made safe even with insurance policies making vehicle drivers explain when accidents happen.