We’ve had another busy day today looking at the cycling conditions in and around Assen: a bit of a mixed bag, from a woonerf (home zone, or residential area where all traffic including bikes has to move at walking pace) to an industrial estate, to a shopping centre, to a bit of a dash back to the town centre along a busy road lined with large stores and car dealerships – and not once have we felt stressed, harassed or endangered by cars, trucks or buses, despite a still-imperfect grasp of which way to look when crossing the street.
We also passed a couple of primary schools just as the kids were being let out for the day. As anyone who’s witnessed the ‘school run’ in the UK can attest, the chaos and the congestions was a sight to behold. The difference was that here, the congestion consisted entirely of bike traffic – and largely tiny pink bikes at that. While the kids thought it was a hoot that we were filming and photographing an entirely ordinary thing, it’s sights like that that really bring it home how safe, practical and joyful cycling can be when it’s properly provided for. If only we could transport the people in the UK who are responsible for our roads, schools and hospitals to stand outside the same school gates just for ten minutes and challenge them to achieve the same thing.
You can see a little of it all for yourselves through our CEoGBFieldTrip Twitter hash tag. Tomorrow, Groningen.