Friday, May 1, 2009

Sitting up straight, Glamorously! 2

Are New Yorkers ready for the Dutch bicycle? Some see the World War II-era bike as so retro that it’s become fashion-forward. 200 Dutch-style bicycles are coming to New York as part of the 400th anniversary of the Henry Hudson’s landing in New York City. Not just any Dutch bicycles, orange Dutch bicycles. “Very orange,” as the deputy mayor, Robert C. Lieber, put it at a ceremony introducing the bicycles. They were presented by the Dutch government to the city on Thursday morning on Queen’s Day, essentially the Dutch equivalent of the Fourth of July. The Dutch take their bicycles very seriously — so seriously that they are the only country in the world where there are more bicycles than people in their country, said Frans Timmermans, a Dutch cabinet minister at the ceremony. There are 1.1 bicycles for every person. About 27 percent of the trips are made by bicycle, and it is a standard way to get around their country. And since there are essentially no school buses, children bike to school. Read more in The New York Times.