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Old July 3rd, 2013, 02:03 AM   #121
Vincen1
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When you drive a motorcycle without any eyewere insects are a big issue. They also can be a threat for cyclists, especially in subtropical and mediterrean areas.
Of course I understand where the idea comes from. Still sounds utterly unrealistic though.

Last edited by Vincen1; July 3rd, 2013 at 10:53 AM.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 12:35 PM   #122
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Nice to hear.
I've actually cycled in Rome. There was no real infrastructure that I can remember. The cars may not be used to a lot of cyclists, but they are very used to scooters and motorcycles. Some drivers are usually aware of the vulnerable fellow road users. And sometimes you just have to show some guts and claim your presence.

I found it delightful to cycle in Rome. It's size and density makes it a perfect city for cycling. The day's we walked were just so tiring and even the things that were not that far just took so long to reach. The day we cycled we saw all the things we wanted ánd the things from the first day. Piece of cake: including Zaha Hadids museum in the northern part of the city and a round in the Borghese Park to the top the hill of Trastevere (with great overview of the city).

BTW. we did NOT wear helmets. I'd rather injure my head then wear such a dump thing
I had the same experience in Rome. Did you also rent your bikes from that guy near the Colosseum?
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 02:03 PM   #123
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No we rented them in a street close to the trainstation Roma Termini.

One thing I don't like about renting bikes is that it usually are mountainbikes or vandalproof unisex bikes. We had mountainbikes (in a city...) and I don't like the low sportive position. I think that in a city you should have an upright sitting position. That allows to see the surroundings, which is also safer and it's more comfortable. The unisex bikes on the other hand don't have that problem, but I'm rather tall, so they don't fit my length.

I've also been to Paris once. They have a "grey bike plan" which is some kind of public transport plan, with countless dockingstations around the city. It is really cheap and popular. We did not use it and I regret that very much.
Paris is really spread out, more then Rome. Walking down the Champs Elysees alone will take you at least an hour. And the only thing you've seen then are the Louvre, Arc the Triumph and a wide street filled with cars. Going around the city like that is really time consuming and tiring. The metro on the other hand can be really disorienting and it doesn't bring you to your real final destination so it can still be time consuming.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 03:05 PM   #124
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Yeah we had the mountainbikes as well, after two days I was desperate for a normal Dutch bike.

In Paris I used the metro but we were there in December, so that's obviously different. If we were to go there in the summer, we'd probably try the bicycle scheme. Sounds perfect for tourists.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 05:44 PM   #125
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Very young children (those that just learn how to bike) often wear helmets in the Netherlands.

However, statistics show older children and adults aren't the main source of bicycle fatalities, senior citizens are.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 05:46 PM   #126
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Well it is even more then perfect. The first half hour is free
And because almost everywhere in the city (what i thought inside the Periferique) are dockingstations it is very doable to ride from station to station within that time. So it can be absolutely free.

There is something that may cause trouble, you have to register somehow to be able to identify and pay when needed (some kind of automated system) I think it works with a keycard or something like that. I don't know how works, creditcard? prepaid? bankaccount?

Nontheless it's popular, so I think there can't be real trouble for tourists.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 06:04 PM   #127
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One thing that is interesting to observe is that once you have a city/country with a very high number of cyclists, many of the supposed "solutions" that bike activists push elsewhere just don't work.

For instance, in the Netherlands:
- you can't take bikes on trams and buses, and also you are barred from subways and light rail during peak time

- there is no panacea of "shared road space". Only streets with light car traffic (such as residential back roads or lightly trafficked rural roads) have shared lanes where cars and bikes must share the same space. Everything else is segregated to various degrees.

- cyclists must obey things like yield signs, stop signs, traffic lights made for them. There is no such cult of "don't ever make a cyclist stop" like you read on certain angry blogs and materials from activists elswhere

- cyclists are banned, effectively, from highways and fast routes. Simple as that. No cycling on the shoulder. No cycling on the traffic-facing lane. No "let's share the lane" b.s.: cyclists have their own routes on the countryside, and don't go out on highways or other controlled-access facilities

- pedestrian areas are often not bike lanes, and the sidewalk is not a cycle path

- because there are so many cyclists of varying abilities and power, the regular cycle paths are not a place for fast-performance cycling at all. The "spandex crowd" from other countries would get very frustrated by learning they have to deal with seniors, children and just slow down instead of maximizing their own speed.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 06:40 PM   #128
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Well, that's pretty much the way it goes in the rest of the world.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 09:50 PM   #129
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haha spandex-crowd that's a good word
Those people can be pretty anti-social sometimes. Especially when they ride in groups of their cycling club.
i.e. they go very fast and have a habit of not using their bells, because screaming supposedly is more effective.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 11:45 PM   #130
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My aunt lives on a group of hills which on weekends is steadily packed with arrogant racing cyclists. She diverted the water nozzles of her windshield wipers in order to target them when she passes by.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 06:14 PM   #131
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My aunt lives on a group of hills which on weekends is steadily packed with arrogant racing cyclists. She diverted the water nozzles of her windshield wipers in order to target them when she passes by.
That's rude and dangerous.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 08:19 PM   #132
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A typical sight along Dutch segregated bicycle paths: poles to keep cars and trucks from entering bicycle paths. However, they are also a hazard, hundreds of cyclists end up in the hospital annually after a crash.

The Hardenberg municipality in eastern Netherlands is taking part in a trial with 5 other municipalities to try out flexible poles to reduce crash injuries.

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Old July 5th, 2013, 08:23 PM   #133
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The Hardenberg municipality in eastern Netherlands is taking part in a trial with 5 other municipalities to try out flexible poles to reduce crash injuries.
A trial? 200 meters from my house there are already flexible poles... And thhey have been there at least 4 years. Because 4 years ago when that cycle pathjust opened I crashed into one of those poles... And luckily they work. Stupid gravel in a corner
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Old July 5th, 2013, 08:54 PM   #134
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Municipalities pretty much have a free hand in designing and applying road furniture, so it is well possible some local trials exist. However, this apparently is the first coordinated trial on a larger scale.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 12:01 PM   #135
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We need to stop catering to the stupid people or Darwin says we'll all end up dumber for it.

Frankly if you crash into a bright reflecting red-and-white pole, you deserve to get hurt.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 01:11 PM   #136
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I agree. We need to distinguish between the obstacles that are objectively dangerous and those that are only dangerous when one behaves neglectfully, imprudently o irresponsably.

Otherwise in a few years the helm will be mandatory even for pedestrians and all trees will be fenced to prevent people from climbing them and hurting themselves.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 05:01 PM   #137
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I wonder what will happen if we remove most of those poles. I don't think they'll become freeways, but maybe I have too much faith in Dutch citizens being able to not drive on an obvious bicycle path.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 05:05 PM   #138
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I wonder what will happen if we remove most of those poles. I don't think they'll become freeways, but maybe I have too much faith in Dutch citizens being able to not drive on an obvious bicycle path.
With roads being downgraded everywhere I don't think I'd see the difference between a narrow road and a decent cycle path. On top of that. Red asphalt/bricks are being placed everywhere no so that isn't a good indicator of it being a cycle path either...
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Old July 6th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #139
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What happened to putting signs?
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Old July 6th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #140
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Signs that indicate a bicycle path are mandatory, with or without such poles.

I was doing a cycling tour through my city today and I did notice there are numerous cycle paths without such poles, so cars could theoretically enter those paths if they want to. But I never seen that happening.
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