27th June inserted comment: Thanks to a number of twitter followers and bloggers who have linked to this page since it was published. Please note that this was a short introductory post – my main post on Amsterdam is tagged “Amsterdam” and was posted on 6th June. I’d welcome your comments!
I have just got back from Amsterdam and I am struggling with dozens of photos and lots of words.
A small confession is in order. During the last 15 years working in cycling I have actually not been to the city that claims to lead the world in cycling numbers. Four times to Copenhagen which challenges for that lead, the up and coming German cities, London, York and lots of other cycling towns and cities.
I thought I would be hard to impress, but as a cyclist how could I not be blown away? I have put up a couple of photos tonight and I’ll add a bit of a gallery tomorrow. And as I do I’ll struggle to add anything to the insights of many other bloggers and advocates, but for now:
“When I see cyclists in Amsterdam I do not despair for the future of the human race” – Kevin Mayne
So after all those years in which CTC has objected to any suggestion that the UK should consider Dutch style infrastructure, do you still think it a bad idea?
Only now when you will be leaving the CTC do you finally realise that for 14 years you could have been an advocate for Dutch type cycling here in the UK. What exactly do you have to offer the the European Cyclists’ Federation?
I can’t believe I’m the only former CTC member to leave after becoming exasperated at the organisation’s seeming entrenched opposition to proper cycling infrastructure. Am I surprised that their Chief Executive of 14 years never bothered to visit the country from which the UK has the most to learn? Sadly, no.
The irony here is that much that has been said about cycling conditions in Amsterdam and NL over the years (not exclusive to CTC) has been dismissive rubbish or misrepresentation of the facts. So I’m not holding my breath now, either.
Sir, your article beggars belief. How can you possibly claim to have been an authority on cycling for so long when you never visited the country with the highest proportion of cycle journeys in the world? Did you ever ask yourself why that might be? The infrastructure perhaps? The social attitudes, government policy and mindset?
I’m a British born cyclist who moved to the Netherlands, in large part due to these facts. I used to be a member of the CTC but was exasperated by their lack of grasp of what would actually make cyclists lives better. It’s hardly surprising that most of their campaigning has been for naught when their leadership doesn’t even know what it should be aiming for.
You should hang your head in shame.
Excellent news that you are impressed by Amsterdam cycling conditions.
Please could you report back to CTC whether mass cycling for ordinary people has been achieved by adult cycle training and “taking the lane”, and/or by other things?
Now that CTC is a charity, I look forward to them working for ordinary people who want to use bicycles for local transport, and not just cycling club members.
Thanks for reading.
This blog is my personal space.
I am able to write as I feel, when I see or think them. It’s called “I do not despair” because I find cycling uplifting and the people I meet and write about tend to feel the same. I’m going to continue in that style, if its not fun I won’t.
As it says in “About” I will not write about ECF or CTC policy here, if I have the odd rant it’s about how I have felt as a cyclist and not as a policy comment.
If you want to discuss CTC policy please contact CTC and if you want me to comment in my ECF capacity I’ll do so through ECF.
NB – I have been to the Netherlands, just not Amsterdam..
Great to see you appreciate the effects of world class infrastructure. Please keep up the good work so that folks back in the UK can see how it should be done.
I have not yet has the pleasure of cycling in Amsterdam or the Netherlands. I loved your photos and just have to go there to experience and be part of this wonderful culture 🙂