Join us for this Dutch documentary. Tickets $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
There are more bicycles than people in the Netherlands. More than 25% of all trips are made by bike. In some cities this adds up to over 60%.
But do the Dutch ever think or talk about this? Not much. To them, cycling is as much of a subject as drinking tap water. Probably this is part of the success of Dutch cycling: it is self-evident. But let’s talk about the self-evident?
In this movie, regular cyclists and regular scientists from all walks of life paint a picture of Dutch cycling culture. We learn that cycling leads to happiness, health, keeping up cognitive functions and creativity and a state of readiness. Because cyclists are open to their surroundings and other cyclists, city life tends to be more open and traffic rules are less strict. Trust among people grows as they cycle. Cycling also leads to happy children who are free to go wherever they want to go.
In poetic images the movie shows the relaxed state of the Dutch cyclist. We see how calmly they interact on the very busy intersections in the crowded cities. We see people from all ages. We see children on their first rides on their own, we see adolescents going to school, we meet people riding their bike to work - and as part of their work - and we see older people cycling to stay healthy. We see cyclists in all kinds of areas, in several cities around the country, day and night and in severe weather, too.
Cycling is a very simple means to reach a lot of complex goals. For a long time, cycling was just another means of transport, that had to be dealt with. Recent research shows that cyclists prefer different roads than the traffic designers expected. Also cyclists tend to go about with as little rules as possible.
Cycling cities need less room for traffic, allowing the structural footprint of buildings to grow and giving more space for social interaction between people. Meeting people spontaneously and opening up the possibility to meet people outside your own circle are typical for a city with much active transport.
Cycling is related to a specific kind of society. Showing your prestige is not common in the Netherlands. Even the Royals and the Prime-minister are aware of this. They show themselves riding a bike to show they are one of us. And they make a point of being photographed on a bike.
When talking to people in the Netherlands they come up with many different aspects why cycling is as important as it is. The movie shows many different angles why cycling has remained so popular in the Netherlands. In the end it leads to a general conclusion. Talking about why we cycle means we are dealing with a bigger question; What kind of society do we want us to have?