Cycling – Sometimes the Continent is worth looking at! And some more films about the subject.

As I was experiencing quite a few things while on the bike for 2600k recently, I asked myself the question quite often: Why do some people cycle, and why do some not? It is possibly not the easiest one to ask, but one thing that was obvious is the a great divide between what the British call the Continent and the rest of Europe calls the Island. But are there really such big differences between the two of them? When it comes to sustainable transport, I can assure you there are. The subject gains even more momentum in the light that the Scottish Government is substantially cutting next year’s budget line on sustainable transport like cycling and walking.

I am not going to tell anyone what to do or not to do. Cycling was one of the reasons why I chose to live in Scotland, but obviously not because of the great infrastructure that exist here for cycling, more for the adventure of exploring those little country roads and unbeaten tracks around the country. But here are some short films that shine a better light on the subject. My view on this is quite clear. Cycling is not just healthy, it also give a sense of freedom second to none achieved with any other form of transport. But make up your own my mind.

The first film is about how the Dutch got their cycle lanes, which now form a network that is the best in the world.

And how they design their junctions, obviously more cycle friendly than our beloved roundabouts.

Another interesting film, Beauty and the Bike, looks at the difference between Darlington and Bremen and the fact that cycling has almost completely vanished from girls’ activities in Britain. I would like to see the full film, but this 8 minutes condensed version gets the message across well.

Speaking of beauty, this animated film made for the NYC Bicycle Film Festival ’09 is another one of my favourites.

Heading into a bit of a rougher terrain for cycling is this one here: Where Are You Go. This one is obviously not the best example in terms of English grammar, but it shows how much riding a bike can do to connect different cultures.

Now, make up your own mind if cycling is a good option to travel? I think it is.