Saturday, 6 September 2008

Saturday Photo: Hommage to Holland, the Home of Cyclists

The first time I saw a dignified person of certain age pumping along during rush hour on a bicycle was when we visited The Hague in 2000 where Elin was studying. The streets were full of people on bikes of all ages, shapes and sizes, including men in military uniforms and dowagers with shopping baskets full of good things to eat. How amazing, I thought. Well, I said to myself, maybe those old folks had been riding continually since they were kids, so they never had a chance to get out of shape.

That would never happen in North America, though, I added to myself.

It would be overstating it to say that the middle-aged in Montreal have taken to bikes in large numbers, but without a doubt bike riding has increased exponentially in the last three years, even among aging Baby Boomers.

So the photo on the left with its quiet street and bicycle racks has turned out to be a taste of future, although canals in Montreal are limited to the Lachine Canal (photo on the right. ) But, come to think of it, that's even become favourite bike path for thousands...

1 comment:

lagatta said...

Robert Silverman (Bicycle Bob) the surviving founder of eco-urban-cyclists' association Le Monde à bicyclette, is 75 now, and still cycling. Several of the people I know who cycle everyday are over 60, and some are pushing 70. I'm not at all rare here to be cycling in my 50s. Sometimes I get the feeling that people my age or a bit younger cycle more than youn people do!

You have a new bicycle path under contruction on Côte-Ste-Catherine, and it will hook up to the St-Urbain one via Villeneuve. Sure we face great odds, but we have made a lot of progress in our 30-some years of struggles for a cyclable city.

You'll enjoy visiting the cycling city champions at: www.amsterdamize.com and www.copenhagencyclechic.com - and the latter features lots of nice SHOES for you. (So does Amsterdamize, but Copenhagen Cycle Chic is particularly ... chic). Marc of Amsterdamize and Mikael of CCC have lots of encouraging shots and stories.

And PARIS is becoming very cyclable now!!! Paris should be a huge influence here.