If you are following Lvblcity, you probably already know that Groningen is one of the world’s best places to cycle. Almost everybody in Groningen uses their bike - to work, to university or to the bar, and it's for a good reason. The city just seems to be built for it: the medieval center is almost car-free, the surrounding neighborhoods around feature great cycling infrastructure, and special rules are set for cyclists.
Commuting with the bicycle in Groningen is not an altruistic choice, it’s just the most natural thing to do. The daily journey from my home to the city center is 3 km, or about 10 minutes by bicycle. If I had driven a car, I would have to take a route that’s about 1 km longer. During rush-hour that would take me about 12-15 minutes, excluding the search for parking and the walk from the parking lot to my destination. Taking the bus would be even worse: including average waiting times and walking to and from the stations, the journey will take around 30 minutes. Walking would roughly cost the same time. In other words, cycling in Groningen is often the fastest, cheapest and most efficient way of getting around.
Last Monday I had to borrow a book from the library, and decided to film the commuting route I’m cycling everyday. I used the helpful Bicycle Dutch's tips for taking videos while cycling, and decided not to mount my camera to the bike, but rather hold it. The result is a bit unstabilized... but hey, cycling is a bumpy experience. Join me on my daily commute.
Some things to pay attention while watching the video:
- I was riding during the “Voorjaarsvakantie”, a Dutch one-week school vacation. Many children, teachers and parents are out of town, so the roads were more empty than usual.
- I had make a stop before crossing the railroad, as a rail was crossing. It took less than a minute, and was pretty boring, so I cut it out from the video.
The moment I exit my neighborhood into a busier road, bicycle lanes are in place. In calm, narrow streets, there is no need for them. I added annotations in the video noting a change of infrastructure.
In addition to the stop in front of the railway, I had to stop one more time at a traffic light. Watch the timer indicating how much time is left before the light turns green again, and the fact that cyclists from all directions are getting a red light at the same time.