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Posts tagged "David Hembrow"

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Journey from Assen to Groningen with David Hembrow

By now if you haven't seen our Streetfilm "Groningen: The World's Cycling City" you should check it out.

One of the folks you'll see featured in that video is David Hembrow who has been reporting on cycling in the Netherlands for many years via one of the smartest transportation blogs out there "A View from the Cycle path". It's full of great knowledge you will want to devour. He also leads group bike tours of many cities in the Netherlands.

I was very fortunate to get to spend some time with him and we got along famously. Above is a video with some anecdotes and biking montages during our 20 mile bike journey from Assen to Groningen. It's only a small taste of what you'll experience in the Netherlands, but I think it will leave you craving more.

He currently has up a blog post full of all sorts of references and links to other posts that will give you a wealth of information about Groningen. Good stuff!

StreetFilms
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Even More From The Netherlands: Ride from Assen to Groningen!

By now if you haven't seen our Streetfilm "Groningen: The World's Cycling City" you should check it out. Like, now! It has broken every single Streetfilms viewing record - it had nearly 40,000 plays in just its first week!

One of the folks you'll see featured in that video is David Hembrow who has been reporting on cycling in the Netherlands for many years via one of the smartest transportation blogs out there "A View from the Cycle path". It's full of great knowledge you will want to devour. He also leads group bike tours of many cities in the Netherlands.


I was very fortunate to get to spend some time with him and we got along famously. Above is a video with some anecdotes and biking montages during our 20 mile bike journey from Assen to Groningen. It's only a small taste of what you'll experience in the Netherlands, but I think it will leave you craving more.

He currently has up a blog post full of all sorts of references and links to other posts that will give you a wealth of information about Groningen. Good stuff!

StreetFilms
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Groningen: The World’s Cycling City

It's no secret that just about anywhere you go in the Netherlands is an incredible place to bicycle. And in Groningen, a northern city with a population of 190,000 and a bike mode share of 50 percent, the cycling is as comfortable as in any city on Earth. The sheer number of people riding at any one time will astound you, as will the absence of automobiles in the city center, where cars seem extinct. It is remarkable just how quiet the city is. People go about their business running errands by bike, going to work by bike, and even holding hands by bike.

The story of how they got there is a mix of great transportation policy, location and chance. You'll learn quite a bit of history in the film, but essentially Groningen decided in the 1970s to enact policies to make it easier to walk and bike, and discourage the use of cars in the city center. By pedestrianizing some streets, building cycle tracks everywhere, and creating a unique transportation circulation pattern that prohibits vehicles from cutting through the city, Groningen actually made the bicycle -- in most cases -- the fastest and most preferred choice of transportation.

It does feel like bicycle nirvana. When I first got off the train in Groningen, I couldn't stop smiling at what I saw around me. In an email exchange with my friend Jonathan Maus from Bike Portland, he described it as being "like a fairy tale." This jibed with my first thought to him -- that I had "entered the game Candyland, but for bikes!" In fact, for our teaser I originally titled this Streetfilm "Groningen: The Bicycle World of Your Dreams," before I talked myself out of it. Although there is a magical quality about being there, in reality there is nothing dreamy or childlike about it. With political will and planning, what they have done should - and can be done - everywhere.

In our Streetfilm you'll see the 10,000 (!) bicycle parking spaces at the train station, some of the incredible infrastructure that enables cyclists to make their journeys safer and quicker, and you'll hear from many residents we encountered who go by bike just about everywhere they travel. But as one of my interview subjects, Professor Ashworth, wanted me to point out: the three days I was there were bright and sunny, and the hardy people keep up the bicycling through the cold winters. As with many bicycling cities, there area also big problems with cycle theft, and residents are always yearning for more bicycle parking.

I think most of us would trade some of those problems for a city with 50 percent mode share (and up to 60 percent in the city center!!).