I have been busy this week and haven’t been able to think about the blog. I received an interesting message from an anonymous reader in Holland though, that I want to quickly pass along:
”In 2002, a collaboration between the Delft University of Technology, Gazelle, and Nike resulted in the ‘Mitka’. There is still a Prototype present at the University, and for me it always represented how companies and institutions can spend vast amounts of money on a project and just let it quietly die in some dark corner.
It seems the Mitka didn’t die though, well not just yet. The concept only changed names; it is now called the Drymer. Somewhere in a far corner of the Netherlands this thing quietly developed into an almost production ready bicycle. They said it would be for sale end of this summer (just in time for rainy autumn). Only nationally oriented, they haven’t bothered to put anything in English on their website.
There is a chance this thing will be a success after those 10 years and many bankruptcies. As of this week fuel prices in the Netherlands are 1.70 euro/l (=8.75 $/gallon). Forcasts say prices will climb to 1.90 (9.80) in the months to come, and there is now a government grant for buying a bicycle with a roof! The Drymer does have an electric motor, but by law it can only travel at 25km/h (15.6 m/h).
I have mixed feelings about the Drymer, it would be nice if it offered an alternative for the car for people who don’t cycle now for various reasons, but I don’t like the idea of these things clogging up the cycle lanes like cars did to the road decades ago, I already imagine the lines at the traffic lights with no way of passing them. But I guess that is just Human Nature, wanting to keep that nice fast lane to ourselves. For the benefit of everyone, they should just make all the streets in the city a 35km/h zone and also up the speed of the Drymer to 35km/h so it can share the road with cars, I believe that would be safe enough for the Drymerist, even without a helmet, maybe just a seatbelt.”