Cycling in the Netherlands picture post #4: Children

I thought this would be one of the easiest picture posts to choose the photos for, but it turned out that I had so many photos of children riding bikes that it was hard to choose which ones to show.

It’s often said that children are the pit-canaries of our society, and if this is the case then the UK has got a problem. Our pit canary lost its feathers years ago and is now gasping for air.

One of my aims with these Netherlands photo posts is to challenge those who insist that we can achieve mass cycling without infrastructure, by showing scenes that simply wouldn’t exist if the cycle paths weren’t there. I really can’t imagine any of these scenes happening on the UK’s roads!

Two young girls ride bikes home from school in the Netherlands, safely on the cycle path, away from motor vehicles.

A boy rides down a hill on a wide cycle path in the Netherlands, safely protected from the busy road.

Groups of schoolchildren ride their bikes on a safe, wide cyclepath in the Netherlands.

Three boys ride on a Dutch cyclepath, protected from the traffic on the road.

Two teenagers ride their bikes on a cyclepath in the Netherlands, protected from the main road.

A boy rides his bike across a junction in Holland.

Three Dutch kids ride their bikes past one of the many bike parking areas in Utrecht.

Three teenagers ride bikes on a rural cycle path in the Netherlands – up-hill!

Three Dutch girls ride home on a 'bicycle road' alongside the canal in the Netherlands.

Two boys riding home from school, practising riding no-handed! They are safely on a cycle track away from the motor traffic.

Two girls ride on a cycle path in Holland, beside a busy road with a tractor on it.

And of course there’s this old favourite too.


As this post is meant to be uplifting I recommend you ignore the following link, but if you really want to see the UK government’s equivalent vision of children cycling then click here. Just make sure you have a nearby wall handy to bang your head against.



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5 responses to “Cycling in the Netherlands picture post #4: Children

  1. All those children know perfectly well that you’re not supposed to cycle with more than two cyclists alongside each other. Yet they all seem to ignore it. The youths these days have no respect for the law, I tell you.

  2. I was a bit taken aback on Satruday to see a big group (10+) of youngish labs on bikes cycling across Waterloo Bridge in central London. It saddens me that I was so surprised; it should be a “normal” sight.

  3. Koen

    These photos made me think it’s about time we in NL had cyclepaths near schools where it’s allowed to ride four abreast, and where one can still overtake by at least 3 persons!

  4. Paul M

    In 1994 or 1995 I worked on a long project in the Netherlands, based at offices in the small town of Boxmeer, just south of Nijmegen, and staying at an hotel just across the Rhine near Gennep. The bridge over the river is a box-girder affair that looks like it may have been thrown across by the Royal Engineers during the Arnhem campaign – – and it has had what, for the Netherlands, is a fairly mediocre foot/cycle bridge cantilevered on to the side. Crossing this bridge – in a car with three colleagues – every morning at 8am we were treated to the awe-inspiring sight of a veritable “crocodile” of teenagers on their way to school on their bikes.

    They rode two abreast – presumably there was negligible traffic flow in reverse because the path isn’t wide enough for that – chatting away to each other, riding sedately at perhaps 10-12 kph, and the phalanx would reach clear across the span of the bridge.

    They were pacing us in our car quite well because, for all the high incidence of cycle use for short journeys, motor traffic in the rush hour gets pretty congested there.

    It was winter, so they were all kitted out in woolly hats, earwarmers, scarves and gloves and of course there was not a high-vis jacket or a helmet anywhere in sight.

  5. Pingback: Sport Success = Active Travel? | Get Wales Cycling

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