Friday, January 21, 2011

Ottawa moving ahead.

'Because of their historical background, the Dutch believe in an equality ideal; cycling is for everyone. They believe in taking responsibility for your environment and your society, saving on water and energy. They believe in participation and freedom. Women's cycling was encouraged from the early 20th century, and a Dutch woman invented the plastic chain guard, a footrest for children who are passengers, and a windshield for children perched in front'. On the first snow day of the winter, more than 100 participants showed up at the RA Centre for a Cycling Vision Ottawa workshop on cycling and mobility issues. Speakers were Angela van der Kloof and Dick van Veen of Mobycon, a Netherlands company promoting sustainable change and partner of Velo Mondial in a number of projects. Angela said she was "overwhelmed" by the large turnout. "Cycling is so normal for the Dutch we'd never fill a room," she said. "In the Netherlands we benefit from cycling and so does society and the future generation." She showed slides of schoolchildren doing a practical exam, learning the rules of traffic. "I'm proud to say we're cycling country Number 1," she said, listing the benefits of cycling.  You can read more about the workshop in the Ottawa Citizen.