The Netherlands, more than any other country, has an obsession with cycling. It is a way of life, as natural to Dutch people of all ages as breathing. In Why We Cycle; which was screened at the Nerve Centre in Derry recently as part of the Foyle Film Festival, this national pastime is explored more fully.
In this documentary we aren’t talking about lycra wearing troops of middle-aged men taking up roads or footpaths, ringing their bells as they wizz past unsuspecting pedestrians who are using the spaces provided primarily for the latter while specially designed bike lanes lie empty. Various members of Dutch society, as well as those visiting the country give testimony to how the Dutch fit the ordinary everyday cyclist into ordinary everyday life.
This documentary tells the viewer how Dutch society has successfully integrated all in their society; from the youngest to the oldest into its mainstream transport system safely and responsibly.
What Why We Cycle does well is promote cycling as a casual pastime that anyone can take part in rather than the “sport” that participated in by dangerous obsessives who want everything their own way; which it is in danger of becoming.
It is a documentary which should be shown in every school, to every town planner and to everyone who wants to stand any hope of building a properly integrated transport system.