Tuesday, April 30 2013 @ 05:43 PM EDT
Contributed by: B' Spokes
Bicycling is such an integral part of life in the Netherlands, you might think that Dutch people are born knowing how to cycle.
They aren’t, of course. What’s kind of wonderful is the way that they learn.
It’s not just a matter of going to the park with a parent, getting a push, and falling down a bunch of times until you can pedal on your own. Dutch children are expected to learn and follow the rules of the road, because starting in secondary school – at age 12 – they are expected to be able to ride their bikes on their own to school, sometimes as far as nine or 10 miles.
Because this independent travel for children is valued in Dutch society, education about traffic safety is something that every Dutch child receives. There's even a bicycle road test that Dutch children are required to take at age 12 in order to prove that they are responsible cycling citizens.