- Oct 25, 2006
There is indeed some that is subjective about my opinions, as there is about your proposed alternatives. But much of what I express is from long experience.Excellent. It would be good (and presumably easy?) therefore for you to actually back up what you claim with hard evidence?
Look - I'm certainly not putting myself forward as an expert in this particular matter, I really don't have any in depth insider knowledge of what makes the Netherlands tick. However I'm often involved in having to analyse data and proposals etc, and as I mentioned earlier, what you are doing would be regarded as bad and invalid practice, because you are only presenting one version or possibility, when others might exist.
That is indeed one possible connection.
However here's another equally plausible one
"when 2/3 of the population engage in sporting activity every week, they are used to exercise and so are much more likely to participate in cycling"
Just as possible as your argument, no?
If you are sure, then posting some hard evidence to back it up will be the easiest option, and I'll gladly accept valid data. Otherwise, you're just presenting an opinion as fact, and that's bad science!
Again, you're using a circular argument. There might very well be other social, political and historical issues that cause these differences and they might be the ones that mean cycling is far more popular over there.
You might be right, you might not. Again, if you have hard evidence to back this up, I'd be interested to see it.
From my perspective and the area I live, I see more casual cyclists than racers in Lycra. And I've never, ever spoken to anyone who has expressed the opinion that they are put of because of this, its always because the hills are too steep, the weather is not great, and motorised traffic frightens them.
I'm intrigued to find out how you think those figures 'kill my opposing arguments stone dead' and back yours up.
They are just stats as to how many people cycle. There is no information there whatsoever saying WHY the statistics are as they are!
It was fascinating to see Malta as being bottom of the list.
A 1 min google on 'cycling in malta' comes up with a host of proposals as to why cycling in Malta is a bad idea. Let me cut and paste from one site
1. There are no cycle lanes.
2. Cars go fast.
3. The streets are too narrow.
4. The streets are often full of holes.
5. If it rains deep pools form along the side of the road in seconds.
6. In summer it’s too hot.
7. Many drivers show a scant regard for the letter of the law.
Strangely, I don't see anything there saying "cyclists wearing lycra puts normal people off ...."
Although ironically, www.visitmalta.com/en/cycling has two images on the main banner, one showing a racing cyclist in lycra, and the other a mountain bike rider with proper kit on .....
I joined the trade in 1950 having already been cycling for some years, and back then cycling as transport was the norm for Britain as much as it was for mainland Europe. Over the years as a lifelong cyclist I've watched all the changes take place and seen their causes at first hand, both here and in some European countries,
Therefore I'm not just looking up what Wikipedia has to say, though also taking into account everything said about cycling in the other countries, including the Netherlands.
So overall I'm trusting my own experience and judgment as well, and unlike you, my interest is only in utility cycling and what affects it. Indeed there are other factors than the image I speak of and I've already acknowledged that so don't understand why you repeat those. But as I also said, most of those other factors we can't readily change or change at all so why address them?
Our efforts are best put on what can be changed, and the image of cycling here is the main impedance for utility cycling among those. I maintain that utility cycling the way so many do it here, dressed up as pseudo roadies, is very offputting to many of the remainder who might adopt utility cycling otherwise. That for me is a major factor among the things that are preventing so many from cycling.
The easiest evidence I can offer for that is that our utility cycling is at a far lower rate than even many of the countries which are far from being universal cycling paradises, having all the disadvantages we have. I used to be able to find a chart of worldwide cycling rates which supported that, but have been unable to find it again despite earlier searches.
It's clear that you are one of the cyclists who's image I'm speaking of so are never going to agree with me in the slightest. Therefore there's no point in continuing with what is a fruitless discussion and we must agree to disagree.