True utility – Dutch style

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True utility - Dutch style

I don’t have a car. I don’t even have a driving licence. It might seem crazy to some, but I don’t feel deprived because of either of these things. I’ve been using bikes as my primary means of transportation for the last 13 years, and for longer journeys I just put my bike on the train. It really is just that simple.

The ‘pastoorsfiets’ (or ‘priest bike’) in the picture is my pride and joy, and also my reason for starting this blog. I spent most of 2012 living in Amsterdam, and I learned a great deal about how cycling can be a cheap/viable/safe/fun/sustainable transport option for an entire city so long as there is good infrastructure in place, laws to protect cyclists, and a positive attitude towards cycling amongst the population. We typically lack these things in the UK, but in my lifetime I hope to see that change; in fact, I intend to effect that change as much as possible.

Over the coming weeks and months, I would like to share with you all that I have learned about bikes, and how car ownership is largely unnecessary and often a limiting factor on the quality of life for many people living in urban areas. Alongside this aim, I intend to use this blog to talk about Dutch utility bikes, how they are different from what we are used to in the UK, and how they really can replace cars for many people (especially young families).

My ultimate goal is to start a business importing/building Dutch-style utility bikes for a UK market, as I believe that this might be the key ingredient that is currently holding back a real revolution in British cycling. If people are supplied with the right tools to enable them to give up their cars, then maybe the changes will snowball and we can all flourish in the two-wheeled utopia that follows.

To get the ball rolling on this one, I’d like to invite you to take part in a supremely basic poll. In short: what do you think of my proposal? All constructive/supportive advice or critical/brutal opinions will be appreciated.

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