Dutch Bikes In The UK)
One striking feature of Dutch cycling culture is that (by and large) people tend to ride the same sort of bike; this sort of bike, in fact:
It’s called an ‘omafiets’, which translates as ‘grandma bike’, and this affectionate title is really quite justified; with its classic design, steel frame, reinforced wheels, heavy-duty rack, full-length mudguards, and upright riding position, it won’t exactly win you any races. What we Brits need to appreciate, however, is that this needn’t be considered a problem.
Commuting bikes in the UK have been taking British cyclists in a strange and questionable direction for some years now, and a lot of us (myself included) have been taken along for a ride. I grew up cycling in London and generally went along with everyone else; buying and using the sort of stuff that was sold in the bike shops. What I didn’t know, however, is that urban cycling on the Continent is significantly different from cycling in the UK, and in this post I want to focus on some of the differences in the actual bikes that people use for day-to-day riding.
To begin with, commuting bikes in the UK are not terribly practical. At least, they are not nearly as practical as they should be.