Dutch native, Caroline Giezenaar, gives her opinion on what needs to be done to get more people cycling. And let’s us know why she’s going to ride Amy’s Ride SA again this year.
People are cycle mad in the Netherlands. In fact, that’s probably an understatement. 1 in 3 people in the Netherlands say the bicycle is their main mode of transport. In some cities such as Groningen and Zwolle, nearly 50% of people cycle. (Compare that Australia where the national average sits somewhere between 2-5%).
“In The Netherlands, we grow up riding bicycles,” explains Dutch Native Caroline Giezenaar, “It’s just something you do. You’re not a cyclist, you’re just someone that rides a bike. It’s a totally different mindset to Australia.”
“Oh,” she laughs, “and there’s also a lot less lycra!”
Caroline has been living and working in Australia for over 4 years, and while she thinks Adelaide is a great place to cycle, but she definitely thinks there’s some work to do.
“Australia does cycling events really well. Recreationally cycling, hands down, you guys do an awesome job. That’s why I love Amy’s Ride SA. You get to ride a freeway, there’s beautiful scenery and the winery is just amazing! We don’t have this amazing scenery in the Netherlands.”
However riding your bike in South Australia isn’t quite as pleasant as taking to two wheels in the Netherlands.
“Sometimes, riding a bike in Adelaide can be just plain scary. Often bike lanes just disappear. I get the impression that sometimes cycle infrastructure is more of an afterthought that a planned process.”
So why is she riding Amy’s Ride SA?
“Well I think it’s important to show South Australian politicians that people on bikes matter. At the moment, I don’t think South Australian government spends enough on cycle infrastructure. Together we can show that there’s enough of us that matter, hopefully we’ll get some more bike lanes.”
And last but not least, Caroline likes the challenge. Normally, cycling for her is commuting to work, but this is a bit more of a challenge.
“Riding your bike beats going to the gym any day. Riding 100 kilometres is hard word – but a whole lot of fun.
Join Caroline for Amy’s Ride SA on Sunday 6 November and help call for safer cycling conditions. Every person riding means a bigger voice for safer cycling.