alexchiri

3 minute read

I have been reading an interesting book about the history of biking in the Netherlands written by an American. I have encountered some interesting facts.

First of all, what is dinking?

I intend to clear this mystery as fast as possible, with a quote from TheFreeDictionary:

<code>dink
adj
(Clothing & Fashion) Scot and northern English dialect neat or neatly dressed
vb
Austral and NZ chiefly children's slang
a.  (tr) to carry (a second person) on a horse, bicycle, etc.
b.  (intr) (of two people) to travel together on a horse, bicycle, etc.
</code>

It seems that in Australia and New Zealand this verb is used to name the action of carrying a second person on a bicycle, for example.

Ok, so why so much fuss about it?

Well, as Pete Jordan noticed, the author of In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist, this is something quite ordinary in the Netherlands, people carrying on the back of the bicycle their partners (life partners) or their children and so on.

What you don’t know is, that “dinking” is illegal in the US and also in some European countries.

After some small searches on Google I found a blog post saying that this is illegal in Portland, USA and even the Highway Traffic Act in Canada includes the following paragraph:

<code>Bicycle passengers
(2)  No person riding on a bicycle designed for carrying one person only shall carry any other person thereon. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 178 (2).
</code>

In the UK, a man was fined for carrying his child on his bike and it seems that for good reason, because the British law says something like this:

<code>24 Restriction of carriage of persons on bicycles.
(1)Not more than one person may be carried on a road on a bicycle not propelled by mechanical power unless it is constructed or adapted for the carriage of more than one person.
(2)In this section—
(a)references to a person carried on a bicycle include references to a person riding the bicycle, and
(b)“road” includes bridleway.
(3)If a person is carried on a bicycle in contravention of subsection (1) above, each of the persons carried is guilty of an offence.
</code>

The cherry on top of the cake is the EU regulation for road safety:

<code>The Vienna Convention prohibits the transport of passengers on bicycles, but enables the Contracting Parties to authorise exceptions. In some countries, the transport of a passenger is allowed only if he is under a statutory age limit (for instance 14 years in France) and if the cyclist himself has a minimum age
</code>

I was not able to find something about the Dutch law about this, but I would guess the Netherlands did authorise an exception to the law, considering the popularity of cycling here.

Whoever needed more proof that the Netherlands is a true biking paradise

Taken from here and Illustration work by www.yukisnow.co.uk

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