Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Dutch Cycling Embassy
Fresh from the womb is the Dutch Cycling Embassy, a coalition of private companies, NGOs, universities, research institutions and governments. And as their name would suggest, they're both Dutch and into cycling. Indeed, the goal of the group is to "facilitate cycling worldwide as the most modern, efficient and sustainable means of transportation by sharing [their] expertise and technology as the world’s number one cycling country."
With their launch comes this video;
The first section of this film is stylised as a hard-hitting historical documentary. The remainder of the film comes across as a sort of weird commercial showcasing everything that is great about riding in the Netherlands. It doesn't all make sense to me; why is this young woman only buying a bike now? Surely she's had one her whole life. Especially since she's a member of the Cycling Academic Network. And they clearly made it look like that Saab was going to hit her. And that man with the flat tyre? You can't just inflate a flat tyre, you need to fix the hole.
But pedanticalness (that doesn't look right does it? Well it is. I checked) aside, this film makes me swoon. Those facilities and infrastructure actually exist and they make so much sense to me. What's more, and as the film shows, the Netherlands weren't always a bike mecca. It took protests, time and the development of infrastructure and policies to make the place what it is today.
So to all the cities out there that are talking pedalling but are really peddling cars (see what I did there?), I say give the Dutch Cycling Embassy a call (+31 (0)30 230 4521). Go on, pick up that phone...