Whether you know it as a backie, a seaty, a croggy, or just plain old dinking (Australia only), the act of giving a friend a lift on your bicycle is a familiar enough concept.
In countries like the Netherlands, it is a totally ordinary, everyday practice; two people, one bike, and away you go! Sometimes a couple might even leave one of their bikes at home, just because it’s a more fun and more sociable way to travel.
For us, giving each other lifts was certainly one of the joys of living in Amsterdam. And so, with summer just around the corner, we thought we’d compile a list of our favourite methods in the hope of inspiring more people to give it a go in the UK. Following the Gandhian principle of ‘being the change that you want to see in the world’, we regularly ride like this wherever we are, regardless of the opacities of the British legal system surrounding the matter.*
If you like the look of our bikes, why not vote for more? We’re only a start-up at the moment, but we’re hoping to get serious by winning some investment. Please support us by voting for our idea in this competition: http://www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitch-to-rich/start-up/flying-dutchman-bikes/
Special thanks and loads of credit must be given to our photographer, Tim Hoy-Griffiths. A great guy, and a true professional behind the lens,
he does all sorts of photography; check out his website here: http://www.tpsphoto.co.uk/
*Under the ‘Rules for Cyclists’ section of the Highway Code, section 68 outlines how,
“You must not … carry a passenger unless your cycle has been built or adapted to carry one”.
Now, as there has never been a test case to clarify what exactly the law means by this, it is, at present, open to interpretation. As it is completely normal to carry a passenger on your bike in the Netherlands, we must conclude that our Dutch bikes have, in fact, been built with the carriage of passengers in mind. For this reason (and pre-empting any likely criticisms in the comments below), we are well within our legal rights to carry passengers on our specially-designed bicycles; owing to their construction and adaptations, Dutch bikes are more than capable of safely carrying the weight of a passenger. That said, all forms of transport carry inherent risks, and you should be aware that Flying Dutchman Bikes cannot accept liability for the actions of others.