• Michele

    I think today’s banner photo is sensational.

    I love how the ‘traffic system’ works in the Netherlands.

    We were touring from Amsterdam down to Ghent a few years ago. We rode on a dedicated bike track just a few metres off to the side of the main freeway.

    Still, every few kms or so we would intersect with another major road. There was one instance where we approached a roundabout similar to the above – but a lot bigger. A semi had essentially locked his brakes up so he could stop and let us through. We thought there was need for him to do so; but that’s how they roll over there.

    We got the impression the smaller you are the more you are given way ..

    E.g. Pedestrians get right away for everything. Bikes give way to pedestrians, but everything else gives way to them, and so forth.
    That attitude, along with infrastructure like this video made riding in that part of the world a dream.

    That, plus the dedicated pedestrian / bike tunnel [which must nearly be 1 km in length] in Antwerp to get from one side of the Schelde to the other.

    • Nitro

      Agree with the photo assessment. I’m sitting here thinking “I know that shot would confuse the heck out of most automatic exposure systems, so its either a damn good camera, a damn good photographer – or likely both”

    • dsd74

      That’s in sharp contrast to their football system lately…

  • Simon

    Watched that vid on the cycling roundabouts and it was soo calming I fell asleep.

  • jules

    Dear Mr Columbian Cycling Association, I regret to inform you that due to your government’s defaulting on team salary payments, your UCI affiliation has been suspended. I hereby specify the conditions under which it may be renewed.

  • Sean Doyle

    Oh my. The Australian public would have a meltdown trying wrap their head around a simple concept of multi use roundabouts. They can’t even figure out how to maintain a safe distance let alone do something logical like stopping and giving way.

    • jules

      2 years ago I was on holiday in Rome. I noticed heaps of cyclists on a Sunday I think it was, a lot of them wearing the same jersey. I thought “this looks like a gran fondo, but they’re riding through the city?” and they were – a gran fondo through Rome. can you imagine the backlash if we had a gran fondo through Melbourne? not on Beach Rd, but through the inner city type roads. talkback radio would go into meltdown. there would be deaths from apoplectic motorists.


      • Sean Doyle

        They shut down the city every year for the freakin marathon…..but then 20,000(?) runners pay more money than 3000 cyclists.

        • jules

          yeah but this GF – they didn’t shut any roads down. there were cyclists filling the roads of central Rome, working through the traffic (not my idea of a GF, but anyway..). the Roman drivers were completely chilled with it – as far as I could see. over here drivers would be blowing fuses, screaming, yelling and trying to hit riders with their cars. we’re a pretty laid back bunch in Australia…

          • Sean Doyle

            Agreed. Im resigned to the fact I wont see it in my lifetime but will do what I cam as a cyclust and a driver to positively reinforce the proper etiquette on the roads.

      • Abdu

        You mean Around the Bay?

        • jules

          if it went along Fitzroy, Hoddle St, etc. and without the traffic mgt – just letting cyclists spread themselves out everywhere. then yeah

          • Abdu

            Where’s the Bay in Fitzroy and Hoddle Street?

            Not being a smartarz, but the ATB does block/use lots of roads and seems to get along ok.

            • jules

              Beach Rd, despite its reputation, is pretty straightforward for cycling on. it’s mostly 2 lanes each way and cyclists take up one. although they spill over on ATB to the RH lane, it’s pretty obvious to motorists why – i.e. the volume of cyclists – and my experience is that still earns you some pretty angry responses. these riders were in heavy traffic, just covering every inch of the road, squeezing past traffic on all sides. there was no visible traffic mgt. to me, it reflected the polar opposites in motorists’ attitudes towards cyclists – they can do that as there is no culture of being offended by cyclists. motorists just calmly carry on.

              I keep hearing about all these problem with cyclists not following strict codes of road use, even cycling groups getting outraged at fellow cyclists for being in the wrong spot on the road. we have become conditioned to it – but it’s not the case over there. the cyclists aren’t hurting anyone – they’re just using the road in whichever way seems most practical. motorists patiently allow them to proceed. the risk that we accept as inevitable does not really exist over there – they don’t accept that motorists may legitimately ram into cyclists who dare venture away from the kerb or filter past in traffic.

              • Abdu

                Yep, I experienced it in Spain too. Followed a kid on a BMX who was showing me the way into Barcelone, mad kid rode straight into 4 lanes of traffic no problems, no tooting.

                • jules

                  there’s a fundamental difference – their drivers think “there’s a cyclist, I’ll just give him a bit of room to avoid a collision”. our drivers think “there’s a cyclist, he’s heading towards me or I’m heading towards him and he might get killed here! (cos I’m not moving or slowing down)”

                  • donncha

                    I think the thought process is more like “there’s a cyclist, quick get in front of the f***er incase he slows me down before the next red light” ;-)

                    • Stompin

                      … when in actual fact, there are hundreds of other cars impeding their way.

                    • Michele

                      I had that argument at work a few weeks ago.
                      Fellow work was late for an important meeting. He explained he got held up in traffic, it was crazy busy, blah, blah, blah.
                      He didn’t take kindly to me explaining he was part of the problem.

                    • jules

                      it’s impossible getting through to people on that stuff. the other one is – cyclist on road, motorist has responsibility to negotiate safely. must slow down etc. as necessary. you just can’t get through to some people – they only see the issue in terms of cyclist blocking their path – cyclist should get out of way, anything else done by driver is an injustice to their progress and an act of (rapidly disappearing) goodwill if it doesn’t involve hitting cyclist. you can’t convince them – it’s not so much that they don’t like cyclists as they cannot view the issue through the lens of cyclists. they’re incapable. i find it fascinating.

                  • Sean

                    You’ve nailed in there jules.

                  • Michele

                    Spot on.

  • Alex Malone

    Tell me about Scott Law and Next Racing Team?

    • Paolo

      Who’s that?

      • Alex Malone

        Aussie rider with Avanti but this Next Racing doesn’t seem to exist.Yet.

  • Nitro

    “In the built up areas, Dutch design manuals recommend to give cycling priority over motor traffic…”

    Wonder what would happen if anyone suggested the same in Australia. I suspect it would involve something approaching Civil War… Would be nice though – the priority part, not the civil war part…

    • Laurens

      We love Australia, but being born and raised in the Netherlands my wife and I can’t help thinking what a backward country this is when it comes to cycling and shared road use.
      After the 1 meter rule was announced we almost laughed at all the reactions. Today Tonight interviewing blind pedestrians who were sure to get killed by rogue cyclists, colleagues commenting about the enormous lines of traffic we are going to cause of cars not being able to overtake… ‘Almost’ laughed if it wasn’t so terribly sad. Almost got killed again riding to work this morning by a car turning left with the common attitude ‘can’t see a car therefore there is no traffic’. Sigh.

      The reason we’re staying though? That video was filmed on the one nice sunny day they had that year ;-)

  • Abdu

    Anyone else read those stories on Aru and read Vinokourov’s comments and just go..Meh…?

    I mean seriously, if you think the Lobbyists for Cigarette companies are bad, this guys is just awesomely so.

  • Manning Thomson

    For those interested the full BicycleDutch post to go with the roundabout video is here https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/explaining-the-dutch-roundabout-abroad/
    For those who haven’t read it and are interested in more than just sports cycling I highly recommend Mark’s blog, its inspiring to see what can be achieved with the right political will and with traffic engineers who care more about people than traffic flow. It’s a shame Australia is so slow to catch on..

    • Abdu

      Most Australian drivers don’t know they can’t overtake you in a roundabout…I probably get tooted every second or third time I take the lane to go through one. Then again, it might be my nice #sockdoping they’re admiring.

      • Laurens

        That’s another part of the puzzle, in the Netherlands you don’t get your license with a packet of Timtams. They make you study and have lots of driving lessons with an instructor.

  • That picture with Nibali needs a caption.

    “Selfies: you’re doing it wrong”

  • Derek Maher

    With major roundabouts, I get off my bike and walk across the exit sections same as pedestrians until I reach my turnoff.
    No point in tempting fate.


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