Men are dumb enough to try things that women often wouldn’t. Load two kids on a regular bike, grab some groceries, and go to the park: no problem. No helmet, no child seat: no problem.
One true sign of success in Amsterdam is that women do the same thing. When you’ve created a system where women and children feel safe, where riding a bike doesn’t feel like a risk, you’ve earned a winning score on the bike-o-meter.
I stayed across the street from a school and my whole family enjoyed watching the different transportation strategies families employed to get there.
A friend once said that when the only tool you have is a hammer, the whole world starts to look like a nail. When the only transportation option you have is a car, you may be tempted to drive everywhere.
But the combination of thoughtful facilities, functional bikes, and an accepting attitude encourage all sort of people to feel safe cycling (or riding a train, walking, or using a bus).
I can’t wait for women and children to be on board, riding the streets of America too.