A few weeks ago I read that the Fietsersbond (Cyclists Union) had been busy this summer re-mapping, re-calibrating all of the (segregated) bicycle lanes and thus routes in the Netherlands. From 1996 up until now everyone relied on the numbers from the Central Bureau for Statistics, showing 17.000 kilometers of those connecting the entire country.
Uhm, apparently it was in dire need of an update, because these good people found many, many more of them. 12.000 more. Yes, 29.000 is the new number. And this is based on extensive research by 7 people actually going around on bikes and creating digital maps. 7 people? The Cyclists Union chose 7 out of the 14 Dutch provinces as a firm basis for their calculations, hence one person per province.
There’s no real explanation, other than these were ‘overlooked’, forgotten, obscured, or what not. I think the Dutch Tourism Board should update their info and start promoting the hell out of it.
Speaking of promotion, digging all this back up I found this cute little music video by a Dutch girls band from Amsterdam called Pep, singing ‘Fietsen’, or ‘Cycling’. More specifically: ‘Pedal towards freedom, in the wind and the rain, it feels heavenly good’. Ain’t that the truth.