Newsnight on the 8th of August, 2013.
“I hear many excuses, or myths, about what makes the Dutch supposedly so different. There are more similarities than differences. It is not about the climate; it’s the same. Flat? There would be Amsterdams all over the world. It’s not that. It’s about making a choice, and prioritising what you want.” Marc van Woudenberg, Amsterdamize.
The Netherlands is also quite windy which can increase the effort in cycling just as much as the hills can. But the differences in cycling rate among Dutch cities show that it’s not just terrain that has an effect: Leiden has almost double the cycling rate of Rotterdam, for example. It’s the quality of the infrastructure and the level of cycling investment.
Meanwhile in Switzerland (that other famously flat country), a national average of 6% of journeys are by bike, but in some cities this is much higher: Basel’s investment in cycling has seen levels rise to 21% and the creation of a complete cycle network in Zurich has increased cycling rates to 8%.