Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

A Book to Persuade: Why Not the Bicycle?

25 August 2021

“Cycling is for fun and cyclists run red lights. It’s cultural, a northern tradition.” Who better to dismantle these preconceived ideas than a Dutchman living in France? In his book Pourquoi pas le vélo (“Why not the bicycle?”), recently published by Ecosociété, Stein van Oosteren discusses the bicycle as an effective tool that challenges the traditional way of thinking and planning cities in France.


In this book, which is as playful as it is well-documented, Stein van Oosteren asks why the country of the Tour de France could not become bikeable like the Netherlands. Contrary to popular belief, the Netherlands was also a “car country” in the 1970s, before the Dutch launched their bicycle revolution. A spectacular citizens’ revolution, it is being repeated today in France and the author would like to see it amplified. But to believe in change, you must live it. The author takes readers on a journey through the Netherlands by way of many illustrations of the Dutch cycling society.


Written in several short chapters with a roguish sense of humor, Why Not the Bicycle? analyzes the reasons that hold back the bicycle revolution, often located “between the ears.” A philosopher and psychologist by training, Van Oosteren wants to make the general public and elected officials aware of these pitfalls. Above all, he wants to make them want to overcome them. A refreshing and amusing inquiry, according to the author Olivier Razemon in Le Monde: “His Dutch view of the habits of urban planners, the more or less failed developments, the ridiculous quirks or the moments of overconfidence of the French is as much fun as a nice bike ride in the spring sun (link here).


“Cyclists will give you a dozen reasons why they ride a bike. But behind each reason is pleasure and freedom.”


About the Author:

A diplomatic attaché and spokesperson for the Collectif Vélo Île-de-France, French and Dutch by background, Stein van Oosteren has been leading the cycling debate in France since the release of the documentary “Why we cycle” in 2017. In the media and in some 40 cities, he entertains dialogues with the public and elected officials to make the desire to cycle emerge and succeed.


Links About the Book:

– Social networks: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

– Press release: here

– Video where the author presents his book: here

– Order at your bookstore: here

– Press coverage: here

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