I am Angela and I live in the Netherlands.
I love cycling, the city, stories, photos, people, home-baked cake, collaboration, ...
What an impressive and moving speech by Emma Watson at a UN meeting! With this speech she launches the 'Heforshe' campaign; a Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality.
Facing all of us with the questions: “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
I was deeply moved by her words; she spoke from her heart and did not hide her nervousness. She did not act.
She talks about how she became aware of gender stereotypes at the age of 8, when she was called ‘bossy’. This touches an open nerve for me. At the age of 5 or 6 I could no longer play football with my male classmates, as it was no longer fun to play with them. They had joined the football club, knew the rules of the game and learned the techniques. Nobody ever asked me if I was interested in playing in a football team; it took several more years before girls could enter the football club. And I was considered a ‘bossy’ type too. I knew, without too much of an explanation, that this was not considered a compliment for girls.
Continuing her speech by reaching out to both women and men:
"Men: gender equality is your issue too. Because to date we are all imprisoned by gender stereotypes" … "If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and if we start to defining ourselves by who we are; we can be freer." Emma asks men to show their vulnerability and human side.
Have a look at the video yourself; it is inspiring!
To all men reading this: note that you can take action by signing the HeForShe Commitment. And follow up by facing yourself with the question: "If not me, who? If not now, when?"
One of the nice things about working as a consultant is that it gets you to new places. Like yesterday. Together with a few colleagues we had a project meeting for the development of a new cycling plan for the Dutch province of Drenthe and I was happy to find out that the meeting took place in the provincial ‘Drents Museum’. What a marvelous place! Parts of it are a former convent, other parts were the provincial House and there is a whole new section added recently.
My colleague Ronald presented in style and overall it was a meeting in a good atmosphere.
I was lucky enough to have a bit of time to visit the museum afterwards. And I am so glad that I did. What an intriguing place! The building, together with the collection are really interesting. A mix of archaeology, art from different periods and history. And the intriguing quote ”What you own is on its way to others” by poet Willem Hussem introducing the collection of Ger van Dam (Modern Art Loppersum) who donated a collection to the museum.
It even got better as I found a few ‘bicycle treasures’ in the Museums collection and I am happy to share those with you!
Johan Cohen Gosschalk (1873 - 1912) drew these cute frogs on bikes over 100 years ago, exact date unknown.
The next one is a painting by Marinus van Raalte (1873-1944) from the 1920’s and it is called “Stadsgezicht Amsterdam” (Amsterdam Cityscape). I like how a few thin lines and the position of the person clearly represent a person cycling on the streets.
And what about this drawing of a covered wagon by Han Krug (1890 - 1977), drawn 3rd of September 1930. No, there’s no bikes on it, BUT … the drawing was made during a bike tour from the city of Breda to the city of Maastricht (>140km), somewhere between the towns of Echt and Sittard.
And the last bicycle treasure I spotted was a neat bronze sculpture by Guus Hellegers (1937).
Thank you Drents Museum, for sharing archeology, history and arts!
Two pictures show the same spot in Tilburg. One was taken 2 years ago. The other one today. So which one do you think is most recent?
When I think about the worldwide booming interest in cycling and the recognition of all its benefits for people and the society as a whole, I wished I could say that we still had that sea of bikes standing proudly in front of our station. But no, that is a picture from the past. We now have an ugly empty space. I guess that, as the station gets its reconstruction, the space will change over the next 2 years and I strongly hope it will look way better than this, as we deserve something more inspiring…
I can’t help but finding the removal of all bicycles from the street scene to high up on the platform, a bad decision. Sure, those new racks are pretty cool and the clicker system that tells how long the bikes are in the rack, to prevent having ‘orphan bikes’ in the racks, are a clever piece of technology. And the stairs to the platform, I’m sure they fit with the measures in handbooks for stair design. But still…
It is not just a matter of what you like to see in the street. It is also a strange economic decision. Of all train users, 40% arrive at the station by bike and a big portion of them use the platform. Little shops will be opened in the stations’ hall and many cyclists will not have to pass that hall as their bike is at the platform that they go to straight away. As a shopkeeper I would not want to miss those 40% potential costumers!
The same idea of empty space at the station can be seen in the promotion video for the new developments in and around it.
I count 1 bus, 2 white cars and 0 bikes. You see pedestrians, none of them has a bag, a suitcase, strollers, a wheelchair nor a folding bike. All pretty boring to me. Or maybe I should just say ‘alien’. Is it because developers of train stations think people on bikes do not spend money? I would not say so. They might have more money in their pocket, as they spend less on cars.