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Great post.

I just spent a long weekend in Amsterdam too and actually turned to my travel companion and said that the biking culture in Amsterdam made me want to move there. I have lived in Europe before - always with a bike and no car.

I think it works so well there because there are fewer cars in the city, shorter distances to bike to get around, more humane streets (e.g. no superhighways) and drivers/pedestrians who respect cyclists.

From that same page, here's a link to an interesting take on helmet laws and the curious surge of hysteria that suddenly erupts in their enactment:


What? No coverage of Velib', Paris' 10000 bike sharing extravaganza, which started yesterday? Being in Paris, I tried it today: only one of my 3 credit cards worked, and the first bike had a flat tire, but the experience was positive after that. 1 euro+rental fees for 1-day (but no rentl fee is charged for rides under 30 minutes), and there are automated kiosks all over the city.

The bike was heavy and too small for my 6'2" frame, but still pretty cool. Paris is much more pleasant than DC for cyclists.

I didn't realize it started today. I'm sure I'll write about it later. Thanks for the 1st hand account though.


... and lots of "street furniture" too, which has the effect of slowing down what motorized traffic there is. Interestingly, if you've ever seen a bike race broadcast from the Netherlands, you'd notice that the street furniture is actually a significant problem for the racers too. An amusing twist!

that's because in a real bicycle -friendly country the priority of most bicyclists is not to race their bicycles but to actually use them for every-day transport, grocery shopping, picking up kids from school- all of the things that soccer moms need a 4X4 to accomplish here in the USA.

The fact that soccer moms even think they need 4x4s shows just how bad things are for people here. They buy them to feel secure, which only feeds the Arms Race.

Americans buy cars the same way they buy guns - for "protection" & "security", etc... but more and larger cars have the same effect as more and larger guns - an even greater concern for safety and security.

How do you end an arms race?

regular bikers need the security of car-free places to bike and racers -especially in DC and other American cities- need to have a real velodrome.

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