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Amsterdam: The Bicycling Capital of Europe

David Hembrow's site

Morning traffic in Amsterdam





Read this article with comments. Building a better bike lane


Bike dispenser

What's a Bikedispenser?

A Bikedispenser is a fully automated bicycle rental station.
This means that at locations where you would like to have or use a bike such as a train station, transportation hub or parking garage, you can rent a bike very easily, quickly and simply.
 For architects or urban planners, the Bikedispenser meets the need to store a substantial number of bikes (50-100) in a compact and safe environment.
The technology of the Bikedispenser also enables underground installation upon specification.

By holding your (OV)chipcard near to the reader, you start the process of renting a bicycle within 15 seconds.
 When you return the bike, the system will recognize the user and complete the transaction.
 The bicycle will disappear in the clearly indicated depository and will be stored in a safe and indoor location while you are already on your way
 and in time for your next train. Please view the animation at 'How it works' to see how it works.

In the near future, you will see Bikedispensers at public transportation hubs, major stops, parking garages and transfer stops.
On a longer timeline, you might also see Bikedispensers in places such as residential areas and amusement parks.
The concept of the Bikedispenser is that mobile people can use a bicycle wherever they are.



Dutch families with two or more children quickly have a problem when they do the errands by bicycle in the city. Heavy bags on the handlebar, one child seated in front and another behind results in unsafe situations. The Cargobike offers a solution. A transport bicycle that's user friendly and ensures absolute cycling pleasure. The Cargobike has a low instep and the centre of gravity is close to the ground. The Cargobike is extremely manoeuvrable, convenient and light steering. The kids sit in a tough wooden box in front of the rider and are held securely with three-point harnesses.

Other cargo bike manufacturers in the Netherlands...


De Redding



Work cycles



From David Hembrow in Assen ( August 08 )

I lived in NZ in the 1970s and early 80s for nine years before we returned to the UK. For several years I then lived in Cambridge, which has the highest rate of cycling in the English speaking world, but now we've emigrated to where there is more utility cycling than any other place on the planet: The Netherlands.

We have organised four Study Tours to this country to show British campaigners and officials the extent of what the Dutch have done and the amazing success. In this city (Assen), nearly 40% of all journeys are made by bike (an average of 1.2 cycle journeys per person per day), while 30 km up the road in Groningen that grows to 60% of all journeys (1.4 cycle journeys per person per day).

We've a lot of resources on the web which might be of interest to you.

 First of all the photos and articles pages:

Also now a blog which is (mostly) going over things which came up on the Study Tours:

I also have a growing collection of youtube videos (including one that I took on a tour around a Dutch bike manufacturer's factory and one showing kids going to school by bike):

Cycling is truly huge here. In fact, the 16M Dutch make as many cycle journeys of all types than the entire English speaking world put together. While this is mostly on utility bikes which vastly outnumber everything else, you also see more road bikes, recumbents, velomobiles etc. here than I've seen in other locations, and the Dutch have great success in cycle racing given the small population.

 A nice photographic essay on the bicycle culture in Amsterdam from the perspective of a cyclist from San Fransisco.


Read an American study comparing cycling in Western Europe with that in the Anglophone countries :   'Making Cycling Irresistible'