"Back then what are now quiet one-way streets lined with flowers, trees and bicycles, looked like British streets, dominated by motor traffic. I saw the legacy of the kids’ work in the Pijp: children drawing with chalks on the pavements, playing football, people sitting outside bars and restaurants".
"Where British residential streets are too often a race track for rat runners, Dutch streets are quiet, clean and peaceful – an extension of people’s homes, not simply thoroughfares for motor traffic.
It was a revelation to me just how great residential streets can be and how easily, with a bit of investment, our streets could become better places for everyone" - Laura Laker, writing in The Guardian.
Hopefully the UK will adopt more of this way of thinking in the future.
Below: An interesting short video explaining how the children living in the Amsterdam neighbourhood De Pijp fight for a play street without cars in 1972, arguably the start of the Dutch cycle revolution.
Pictured: Gentleman's town bike, the Dawes Consulate, out for a ride along the seafront after the Brighton E-bikes treatment.
A champion in British frame design and manufacture over the decades, Dawes cycles have long been recognised as one of the UK's biggest names. Often favouring to work with 'Reynolds' tubing, they still make a very nicely put together bike to this day, albeit built overseas nowadays.
The above modern gents town bike model, the Consulate, lends itself brilliantly to being transformed into an affordable Dutch style E-bike.
With the complete bike and electric pedal assist package coming at £999, expect to see more of these in the future.
A sure case of More Smile per Mile.
Owning a bicycle enables us to travel around our local area for free, get exercise and fresh air, enjoy the outdoors together; and do it whenever and practically wherever we want to.
No worries about parking, no vehicle registration, tax or insurance costs. No problem to drop in and see a friend, have a coffee or pick up some shopping on the way, it is quite simply an ideal way to travel, especially around cities like Brighton and Hove.
According to our research, the most frequently stated reasons why people don't use their bikes to get around more in Brighton and Hove, is because of the hills and the strong winds along the seafront.
Unlike the Dutch and Germans (to name just a couple of European neighbours whose bicycle sales are now up to 50% e-bikes), the UK as a whole have been rather slow on the uptake of electric bikes, after all, the government only changed the law in April 2015 to bring us into line with the rest of Europe.
If ever there was a place for a little electric motor that can be fitted between the pedals of your own favourite bike adding 9 levels of pedal assist, it is here in Brighton and Hove.
Being a mid-drive motor, our recommended system, the Bafang BBS01, retains all the bike's existing gearing at the rear wheel, meaning optimum motor power can be harnessed at all speeds. The result is the ability to cruise at 15-20 mph whether uphill or into strong winds, for some forty odd miles between charges.
Quite simply, it flattens the hills and nullifies the headwinds, making the humble bicycle one of the quickest and most convenient ways to get around for more and more people.
Don't for a moment think this means the rider doesn't have to do any work like on a moped, it still needs human pedal power to make it all work. It just means you can travel further in less time, breeze up hills that were previously avoided, tailor your effort depending on the day/occasion, and perhaps adopt routes that had previously not been considered. Riders who switch over to e-bikes report their average journey distance doubles and their frequency of journeys quadruples.
Please visit our website to read more about E-bikes in Brighton or to get in touch and discuss converting your bike.
Last Sunday, 27th Spetember 2015, the French capital enjoyed a rare treat when 30% of the centre was declared a car free zone for the day.
In the centre of the city, excessive vehicle emissions have been responsible for France being accused of flouting EU air quality targets since as far back as 2005, with levels of lead (particles) and nitrogen dioxide reaching up to double those allowed by the regulations.
To read the full article by Kim Wilsher in The Guardian, click the logo at the bottom of the page.