The Netherlands has a lot to learn from Colombia, where Car-free day is a weekly celebration.
By Victoria Garcia – Rider Experience Specialist
Any thoughts on driving a car everyday? I’ll grant you that it is often synonym for some well-deserved alone time and a chance to blast your favourite songs without asking for permission. However, try adding to that the tiredness and the frustration you feel everytime you make your way through the maze-like roads in Rotterdam.
Everyday, not only you get stuck in traffic, but you have to look out for:
1. the moped whose side window is this close to scratching the side of your car;
2. the reckless delivery person and finally,
3. that smiling parent riding an e-bakfiets with two children and a very appetizing cake in the front box.
I have an idea for you: switch to biking, or better BAQMEs. By renting an electric cargo bike, you will benefit from the speed of an electric bike and can go to and from places while carrying everything with you. Even your kids. And yes, even that ill flavoured lamp your relative gave you that you so desperately want to bring to the second-hand store.
After doing that, you will realise there is even time to pass by the store and buy a cake to celebrate your brother’s promotion. You place everything in your box and ride past that car stuck in traffic (yes, precisely the one mentioned before) and think: “wow, that person sure needs this cake right now”. You then drive on and before arriving home, you take an extra detour with your bike just to soak those last minutes of sun.
What can we do?
Deep inside you are happy but you wish all those people stuck in cars could feel the same, you simply want them to enjoy their day stress-free. But how to convince them to choose rent an electric cargo bike over using a car? A national car-free day sound like the solution.
In Bogotá , Colombia, Sunday has become the equivalent of fresh air and inevitable socialization. From 7am to 2pm, the city places a ban to the use of motor vehicles of any kind. During the Ciclovía, citizens are required to move around by walk, bike, roller skates and whatnot to get from point A to B. Along the streets, you are bound to bump into crowded heavenly food trucks, as well as outdoor zumba and dance classes. You can just bike around and listen to the music of the streets, rather than the stereo of your car.
In addition to these individual benefits, ever since its launch, this event has contributed to an improvement in air quality and decreased overall stress levels. All in all, the city has become more sustainable and as a bonus, several food trucks were given a chance to advertise their mouth-watering food. It is for all these reasons, that we, at BAQME, advocate for implementing a Car-free day in the Netherlands.
After all, man is a social animal and what better way to socialize than participate in a weekly outdoor feast? And what better way to celebrate the diverse cuisines and cultures that the international community in the Netherlands has to offer? By renting a BAQME, you could simply ride to a pannenkoeken cafe, let your kids hop on the box and eat while riding though the streets and vibing to the sounds of live Afrobeat music. No cars or mopeds in sight, just a feeling of freedom while you ride from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk, or even on a graffiti route, on your electric cargo bike.