More on Dutch cycling

Watch this video, it is in Dutch, but you’ll get the point, and I put a rough translation I found below.

So this is a series of short commercials which promote cycling in the Netherlands (I’m not sure which province) that is part of the Amsterdam Film school students’ final projects. I hate to think of what these messages would be thought of here in America, though I think they make good points. I especially like the one with Saddam Hussein, it’s very funny!

Something you might notice, people aren’t wearing helmets. No, this isn’t a fashion thing for making it a good film, but they just don’t wear them over there. Actually, America is the only country that obseses over them. Mom, you may not like this, but I don’t wear one either, unless I am going on fitness rides. For my daily commute, or other errands, I don’t bother. And I do it intentionally.

A rough translation, from Nicodemus at the BikeFourums:

My Dutch isn’t spectacular, but this should be fairly good (I’m sure a true orange cloggie will come along and correct me):


Als we zo graag op de fiets zitten (lovers on bike kissing)
Warrom staan we dan in de file? (beemer)

If we are so happy on the bike, why do we sit in the traffic?


(guy rolls out of the garage on his bike, leaving beemer to rot)

Fietsen naar je werk. Een goede zaak

Cycle to work. A good job/task.


Elevator scene:

(macho key posing)
announcement: attention: driver of a blue Saab… you forgot your parking brake.

(guy on left chuckles)

announcement: attention: the blue Saab went into the yellow Lotus

(guy on left cringes)

Cyclist at the back walks out smiling.

Zonder ongemakken? (without inconveniences?)
Pak de fiets! (take the bike!)


(I’m not translating that whole song)


That bit with the Saddam-type guy on the harley bike is funny.


(four guys in suits racing to work)

fietsen naar je werk
Maak er een sport van.

Cycle to work. Make a sport of it.


(loser with his “driving mix” that drives 10 seconds to work.)

Ja, sommige mensen kiezen heel makelijk voor de auto.
Some people choose very easily for the car.


lab scene with rorsach (sp?) tests:

De eerste faase is ontkenning.
Je moet de verslaavde de oplossing anreke (not sure that one)

And dan moet je het initiatief zelf nemen.

En als hij het alleen aankunne, dan laaten we zijn los.

Autoverslaving is een onderschot probleem

Wij moeten deze mensen helpen.

Ja iemand moet in de files doen

The first phase is understanding.

And then you must take the initiative yourself.

And if he can do it himself, we let him loose.

Autoslavery is a serious problem

We must help these people.

Yeah, someone has to sit in traffic

(bmx guy jumping around in traffic)

Pak de auto.. met de fiets
Pack the car.. with the bike

last one doesn’t need translating

I hope you enjoyed this video as much as I did!


3 responses to “More on Dutch cycling

  1. Oh .. Kaaaayy.

    Well, yes, it bothers me that you don’t wear your helmet religeously, but I would like to point out that the reason they don’t “obsess” over wearing helmets is because they are atuned to bikers. Here in America, bikers are a minority that get little or no respect on the roadways. For example, if some idiot pulls out in front of an 18 wheeler that is so covered with lights that it’s almost as bright as the sun and get’s hit, what do you think is the most common response the police get from them when it’s all over with?
    It’s : ” I never saw them!”
    With a driver mentality like that on our roads, how do you think they are going to respond when asked why they creamed the guy on the bike?
    I’ll tell you: “I never saw him!”
    At least when wearing a helmet in such a bicycle unfriendly country, you stand a better chance of surviving a auto/bicycle collision with your beautiful, and brilliant mind, instead of ending up as a vegetable for the rest of your life.

    Now, as for the video… it was hilarious, and I was delighted with your translations. Loved it!! They have a great ad campaign going on, and I salute them. I hope it will affect the whole world as we really need to find a solution the the polution and oil shortage crisis.

    Love ya!!

  2. Thanks Mom. More on the helmet thing coming later. As far as the translations, I must point out, I just found them, I didn’t make them 🙂

    And I agree, bicycling will hopefully be a good answer to some of our energy needs here in America sooner or later (though likely later unfortunately).

  3. jacques de la Parra

    As I am dutch… I’ll help you out a bit with the parts that were troublesome for you:(both the dutch and the translation)

    De eerste fase is ontkenning.
    The first fase is DENIAL

    Je moet de verslaafde de oplossing aanreiken
    You have have to hand the ADDICTED (person) the solution

    En dan moet je het initiatief zelf nemen.
    And than you have to take the initiative yourself

    En als hij het alleen aankan, dan laten we hem los.
    And if he can do it himself, we let him loose.

    Autoverslaving is een onderschot probleem
    Autoslavery is a UNDERESTIMATED problem

    Wij moeten deze mensen helpen.
    We must help these people.

    Ja iemand moet toch iets aan die files doen.
    Yeah, Somebody has to do something about those traffic jams… (apparently going to take the car)

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