Children using bikes in Horsham

Why cycling in Horsham is going nowhere, in a single picture.

Helmets? Check.

Flourescent bibs? Check.

Going nowhere near the road? Check.

These children quite plainly like riding their bikes. They are, unfortunately, examples of the very small minority of British children who have not been deterred from doing so by the obstacles and impediments that have needlessly been put in their way – the spurious need to be ‘safe’ on a bicycle, the unpleasant and subjectively dangerous roads that you are supposed to cycle on, the pavements you have to stay off.

Most other British children – the great majority – are unsurprisingly staying away from their bikes. They don’t want to wear helmets or flourescent bibs, they don’t like cycling on the roads, and when they do cycle on the pavement, they are treated like hooligans. They have to rely on their parents to ferry them around by motor vehicle, or on buses which are rapidly disappearing, or wait until they are 17 and they can acquire their precious driving licence.

Meanwhile, in the centre of a Dutch city –

You will see plenty of young children cycling, free from safety equipment, on roads that feel subjectively safe. All these pictures taken while I was enjoying a brief espresso.

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6 Responses to Children using bikes in Horsham

  1. Edward says:

    It astounds me that pictures like this are plastered all over the web and many of us still remember using our bikes all the time without all of that ridiculous “safety” equipment. Yet in places like the UK and here in Australia, we seem somehow blind to it. Using a bike just to get around seems almost impossible to comprehend. I just don’t get it.

  2. Edward says:

    In the second picture from the bottom, what is that cool looking bike the guy in the red jumper is wheeling along?

  3. Yes, this is a good illustration of the difference. There are always children cycling through the centres of cities here.

    Edward: It’s a Giant Revive. Looks cool, but actually you probably don’t want one. It’s not recumbent, so you can’t push hard against your back, and it’s not upright so you can’t push against your own weight. As a result, hill-climbing or putting effort in to go quickly is not easy at all.

  4. emmaboakes says:

    Is it one of these? I tried one at the weekend. So much fun. On close inspection probably not. Although having ridden one I did wonder why anyone owns a car.

  5. Mark says:

    That’s not just “a Dutch city”, that is Utrecht! You Were Right Here!
    In the middle of the center. And because all the streets are eventually dead ends for motorised traffic, only cars that have a business there will go into this area. It is also a 30km/h (18m/h) zone so there is no protected cycling infrastructure necessary to make if perfectly safe for children to ride there.

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