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When School’s Out in Amsterdam 36

Amsterdam school pick-ups – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country While strolling around Amsterdam on Friday afternoon shortly after arriving in the Dutch capital, I happened upon a school just as the kids were being let out for the weekend. The scene was nothing short of fascinating for a Canadian who is accustomed ...

Rural Bike Infrastructure in the Netherlands 23

Bicycle traffic signal in Amsterdam – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country It is 1:00PM and the train is stopped at a station in a northern Belgian town. The train will be leaving one minute later than its scheduled departure time so that the passengers can have a minute of silence to pay ...

Brussels: Narrow Lanes & Neon Vests 27

Grand Place – Brussels, Belgium – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country The distinct two-tone siren from a Belgium ambulance echoes fourteen floors below the perch where we have set up camp on day one of our two-week trip to Europe. It is 6:30AM and we have just arrived after a 19-hour journey ...

Dutch Cycling Promotion. Good For The Body, Legs & The Eyes. 4

Video of “Promoting Cycling in the Netherlands” in 1985 – by Markenlei on YouTube Mark over at Bicycle Dutch has posted some Dutch promotional cycling videos circa 1985. The videos exploit stereotypes, with an English, American and Italian tourist each talking about bicycles in the Netherlands. Mark points out that “Even in 1985 the Dutch ...

Bicycle Transportation Should Be Taken Seriously 26

“Beautyful Amsterdam” – Photo by Michael Stallmeister via RateMyVelo.com Bicycles are a serious mode of transportation. It is about time we treat them as such instead of treating bicycling as a hobby, a sport, or a mode of transport for the working poor and students. Bicycles are an often overlooked mode of transport that with ...

A Renewed Faith in Newspapers 8

“Places To Go, People To Meet, Things To Do” by Amsterdamize (via ratemyvelo.com) Over the years as a citizen bicycling advocate I have lost my faith in the media. I had found that news outlets have a bias toward car culture that has contributed to the animosity on our streets and the stifling of progress ...

Legislation For Bicycle Transportation 8

Amsterdam “Golden Dress” – Photo courtesy of Michael Stallmeister / ratemyvelo.com If our goal is to make our cities more liveable and bicycle friendly, there are several strategies that we can use to achieve this goal. I spend most of my efforts on this blog by trying to change people’s perceptions about bicycle transport in ...

Paris Cyclists Allowed To Run Red Lights 11

“Guess what? I’m French! – Photo by Rohand / ratemyvelo.com Paris city councillors recently voted to give the green light to cyclists to legally proceed through red lights in the French capital. The pilot program will be tested at 15 intersections in east end of Paris and if successful will roll out to 1,700 intersections ...

Awkward Moments In China’s Car Culture Frenzy 36

Cyclist in Shanghai – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country (2010) As a Canadian ex-pat currently residing in China, there are moments where my culture and values clash with Chinese culture. A recent situation at a dinner with my wife’s family and friends surfaced the importance placed on car ownership in Chinese culture. ...

Sunday Afternoon Ride in China 8

Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country It was hot and sunny – peaking at 27 degrees Celsius on Sunday afternoon here in the middle of the South China Sea – so we decided to take 7-month-old Sofia out for a bicycle ride. It was her first bike ride, and she clearly loved every ...