Via Karole Sutherland:

Wim Bot, an official in the Dutch cyclist’s union …

“Think of it this way. Car drivers behave like a bunch of geese. They have the same distance from each other and fly at the same speed, and move almost in military formation.” He put down his tea and made a series of regimented gestures with his hands. Then he moved them around together, in an elegant dance. “Cyclists move like a swarm of sparrows,” he said. “There are thousands of them moving in chaos, but there are no collisions. They turn a little bit; they change their speed. You must do the same.”


  1. There are no collisions? That’s likely news to the Dutch:

    New data from the Netherlands shows an increase in the number of bike-on-bike cycle path collisions causing injuries that require a visit to A&E, leading to concerns about a growth in “anti-social” cycling and and worries that in some areas the cycle paths are approaching the limit of their capacity.

    According to Dutch road safety body VeiligheidNL(link is external), the increased number of collisions can be put down to the increased traffic on cycle paths and trails.

    VeiligheidNL’s data shows that 11% of Dutch cyclists had experienced an accident involving another cyclist, while a quarter had experienced an incident, or a near-incident with another cyclist at some point in the last three years…

  2. Bob wrote: “…VeiligheidNL’s data shows that 11% of Dutch cyclists had experienced an accident involving another cyclist…”

    I wonder how that compares with the rate and severity of North American accidents involving cars?

  3. This is a good metaphor. I’ve noticed too that when many people are cycling (and not new to it) they behave more like pedestrians around each other than the way drivers in cars behave. It makes me question the logic of the law expecting that when people cycle they should just simply be like when they drive. It doesn’t make sense and it’s not natural to the mode. (More reasons for the laws to change.)

    Cycling in a peloton might be more like a flock of geese but that’s more of a sport and not every day cycling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *