Holland moped chic

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In June of this year there were 1,000,000 mopeds on the Dutch roads for the first time, according to NOS.

That is 300,000 up from 2007, and even 600,000 up from 1995. In an article about bicycle manufacturer Batavus, Wikipedia claims that there were more than 2 million mopeds in the Netherlands in 1977, but I could not find anything to back that up.

I wanted to celebrate this millionth moped by creating a sort of “Holland moped chic” set on Flickr, analogous to Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Amsterdamize. Unfortunately, as you can see below, my photography skills were not up to the task and riders came out mostly blurred.

So I did the next best thing, and created a gallery of the best Flickr photos of Dutch men and women riding mopeds.

Dutch road laws make a distinction between bromfietsen (‘buzz bikes’) and snorfietsen (‘purr bikes’). The latter can only legally go 25 km/h, and are considered to be closer to regular bicycles in intent and use. Snorfietsen have also become very popular lately because they can look as good as regular scooter mopeds, yet you do not have to wear a helmet while riding them.

(Top photo by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved. Bottom photo by me, available under a permissive license soon from our Flickr account.)

5 Comments »

  1. Isn’t this something that comes at the expense of bike culture?

    Comment by Julian — September 6, 2010 @ 10:29 am

  2. That’s not cause and effect. More and more people have motorised vehicles, including old people.

    Comment by Orangemaster — September 6, 2010 @ 10:37 am

  3. There are those who say that the Netherlands doesn’t have a bike culture. The word ‘culture’ suggests a something special, lycra, helmets, danger. Here, children and old people bike. In that light, coming at the expense of bike culture might be considered good news.

    Comment by Branko Collin — September 7, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  4. Branko, I do not mean “that” kind of culture. Perhaps the word culture is not appropriate, what I mean here is the place that bikes (without motors) undeniably have in the landscape of dutch cities, particularly Amsterdam. Bikes are very important here! It runs pretty counter to my intuition that more mopeds do not mean less people riding a bike… let’s hope I am wrong.

    Comment by Julian — September 7, 2010 @ 11:00 am

  5. I really couldn’t say. I only know of two people who ride a moped. For one of them it was a replacement for public transport. Why the other rides a moped I don’t know.

    Comment by Branko Collin — September 7, 2010 @ 11:23 am

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