So I Moved to Germany and…

2 Responses

  1. “Cycling campaigning should be focussing on the positives of cycling (in short: quick, easy, cheap, enjoyable).Cycling campaigning should be focussing on the positives of cycling (in short: quick, easy, cheap, enjoyable).”

    The only problem I see with this approach is that cycling is, so often in the UK, a rather fraught, nervy, unpleasant experience that overly positive campaigning seems like a denial of the reality.

    I couldn’t be entirely positive about my current commute, for example. I’d feel it unfair to turn someone loose on that route without warning them about the numerous places where the provided infrastructure puts them in danger, or where motorists are more or less likely to present a significant risk.

    Still, a thought provoking piece, and good to see you back.

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I’m fluctuating a lot on my thoughts on this at the moment, especially after reading this interesting piece from the Guardian on how Amsterdam became a cycling super city.
      I think there’s basically a conundrum in the UK at the mo. First, the infrastructure and attitude to cycling is abysmal. But nobody other than ‘committed’ cyclists (i.e. a small percentage of the population) is going to be particularly desperate to change the infrastructure when there are so few people cycling. Therefore, to increase the desire of people to give cycling a go, it needs to be appealing – something that die-ins and horror stories will only damage. It’s almost a case of chicken and the egg. Do we somehow convince governments and populations to spend £100s of millions on cycling lanes that so few would currently use? Or, do we target a massive push on the number of cyclists and then the infrastructure would come more organically? I don’t know to be honest. It’s probably a mixture of both. But I really do believe changing the image of cycling in the UK is a necessity.

      I’d love to be able to send the whole of the UK on a quick city break in the Netherlands, Germany or Copenhagen – I’m sure it would open peoples eyes.

      Pete

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