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Are We There Yet?

Not even close.

A friendly 'wheelrunner' rides through the Vondelpark in Amsterdam

In Australia we have a very healthy sports cycling culture but we do not have a healthy bicycle-for-transport culture. The modal share for trips made by bicycle in Australia is between 1-2% (with the exception of the NT – more ‘utility’ cyclists).

It is interesting to note that this is almost the same proportion of the Dutch population that are ‘wheelrunners’ – the dutch word for sport cyclists, quite distinct from a ‘cyclist – and just like in Australia, you see them in great numbers here on weekends.

The reality is that until we see more leadership from Government & more demands from the public in how transport money is spent we will never see significant change. We need to spend more on active transport (cycling & walking) & public transport (particularly rail). Spending ratios need to reflect where we want to be in the future – and I mean beyond an election cycle – rather than being based on current or past behaviour. We also need to remove obstacles to everyday cycling.

How do we know when our society has accepted the bicycle as a normal method of transport?

Here are some clues…

These photos were taken during the tour of Houten by Mark Wagenbuur. Veronika & I sat on a wall eating strawberries and I photographed the passing ‘cyclists’. A few things struck me about what we saw. There were more women than men and many children, particularly girls, riding independently from adults.

Isn’t it time we started creating a world for which subsequent generations will thank us?