Last week I enjoyed some extended winter by cycling in the winter cycling capital of the world, Oulu in Finland. I was invited to give a talk at the ITS-Oulu conference and decided to stay a bit longer to get acquainted to the city. My good friend Pekka Tahkola was for two days my guide in the city. He is not only an excellent guide for the city and big engine behind the MTB-cycling tours in national park Syöte, but he also has a great interest in mapping cycling related information. A good reason to share with you the current online sources for open cycling data in The Netherlands.
This Friday I tested with some partners a speed pedelec. The bikes were kindly provided by Juizz, a company specializing in electric assist bicycles and electric mopeds. We tested two Blue label Cruiser NuVinci, and a Strömer ST2, a real power bike. They both assist cycling to 45 km/h and multiple the power you deliver to maximum four.
Line up in front of Juizz
We started at the showroom in Utrecht and weaved in and out the busy bicycle traffic. This is part of a route I regularly take from my workplace to the office of the city of Utrecht. As I am often late, I am used to ride this with a 30km/h speed, which is quite challenging with unpredictable behavior of cyclists and pedestrians. Riding a speed pedelec was even more challenging, my heart rate was lower as normal with the same speed, but the demand for attention was at the same level. The acceleration at traffic lights was fabulous, but the number of traffic lights limited the average speed in the city a lot.
This morning we were surprised with snow. Sub-zero temperatures and freezing rain were predicted, but snow we had not really expected. Internet was clear that the Dutch railways were unable to cope with snow and black ice, and also on the roads there were big problems. Quickly I went out to have a look myself at the situation in the village. Because snow is not so very common and it was a free Saturday morning, parents took their children out to enjoy the thin layer of snow.
Parents & children having fun
My interest was particularly to Hoofdstraat, earlier mentioned as the “axis of evil”. 4 Years ago under similar circumstances a fourteen-year-old girl was killed by a lorry driver. As I was on the site to see how I could take a good picture of the situation, a motorist stopped in an unpleasant place. Continue reading