miércoles, julio 17, 2024
InicioCyclingI’m headed to Europe! Pre-trip ideas and a request for concepts –...

I’m headed to Europe! Pre-trip ideas and a request for concepts – BikePortland

Getting luggage packed and able to go. (Photograph: Taylor Griggs/BikePortland)

When you’re concerned in bike advocacy you’re in all probability accustomed to the wistful craving for the biking infrastructure and insurance policies of the nice European biking cities felt by many American activists. In Portland, our metropolis planners and engineers have lifted design inspiration from cities within the Netherlands and Denmark. Now it’s my flip to see what all of the fuss is about: After a cease at dwelling (in Denver), I’m headed on a visit throughout the pond and I wish to know what BikePortland need me to cowl whereas I’m there.

When planning a visit to go to my sister Kylie, who’s instructing English in Spain for a 12 months, I acquired the concept to sneak in just a few extra places to the journey and take BikePortland worldwide for just a few weeks to do a little analysis and immersion. (I’m very fortunate to have a job the place I can do that!) The results of my planning is a European itinerary that features Brussels; the Netherlands (Utrecht and Amsterdam); Copenhagen; Malmö, Sweden; Paris and Spain (Bilbao and Barcelona). Apart from just a few scheduled plans, prefer to take a tour of some bike infrastructure in Paris that has been constructed below the brand new mayor and a date to hitch a “bicíbus” in Barcelona, my schedule is generally open.

Jonathan, who did an identical journey in 2013, has urged me to not overbook in an effort to discover freely, however I really feel like having just a few extra concepts and connections earlier than I get there is likely to be useful.

Me (far left) at 17 in Hamburg, Germany.

I’m fortunate sufficient to have gone to Europe twice earlier than: as soon as in 2014, on a highschool choir and orchestra journey to Germany with about 75 different American youngsters (I cringe to consider how we acted) and once more in 2017, once I studied overseas in Prague for six months. I didn’t go into both of these journeys desirous about metropolis planning and transportation, however wanting again, it’s clear that I used to be enchanted by the city design even when I didn’t realize it but. 

Essentially the most memorable day of our highschool journey was when the lecturers dropped us off in Hamburg’s metropolis middle and informed us to fly free for six hours. My pals and I walked and walked, passing parks with extremely upscale playgrounds, stopping at retailers and cafes alongside the best way. We thought we felt free as a result of there have been no adults watching our each transfer. However how a lot of that freedom was often because we may journey round a whole metropolis on foot alone, with out ever having to cross a six-lane stroad with automobiles zipping by at 45 miles per hour?  

I doubt the chaperones on our highschool journey to Germany may put into phrases precisely why they felt okay letting a bunch of 14-18 12 months outdated youngsters unfastened in Hamburg, however the constructed atmosphere absolutely had one thing to do with it. I nonetheless assume again on that day as probably the most magical of my life to date.

This time, I’m going into my touring with a perspective I haven’t had earlier than. After greater than a 12 months spending almost day by day pondering and writing about one facet of transportation infrastructure or one other — and studying about technical, wonky stuff like sign timing and parking-protected bike lanes — I have a look at and expertise the world in a brand new manner.

This new perspective includes me being an lively participant within the cities I go to, and figuring out these locations didn’t simply pop up out of nowhere, however have been purposefully designed to perform as they do. I’m certain I might be overcome with awe and disbelief at bike lanes in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Copenhagen, however I don’t wish to mythologize these locations a lot that they appear totally out of attain to us again dwelling.

Anyway, I’m getting forward of myself. These are simply my pre-trip reflections: who is aware of what is going to occur alongside the best way! However I would love to know what BikePortland readers are essentially the most all for listening to about. Be as particular or broad as potential, please. I sit up for listening to your ideas.



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