Interview with Nina Oosterloo (@ninaoosterloo)
To celebrate the Women’s Festival of Cycling we are featuring a series of interviews with inspiring female cyclists all throughout July.
Why do you cycle?
The reason I cycle is merely practical. I use my bike to get from one point to the other. Also, the freedom I experience while riding in the fresh air outweighs the comfort of speed from a car or the underground.
What first made you want to try out cycling?
When you grow up in The Netherlands, cycling comes naturally. Learning how to ride a bike comes just as fast as learning how to walk when you're a child. The country, which's infrastructure consists of large bicycle lanes, is totally designed for it.
Did you feel like there were any barriers in your way when starting out cycling?
To be honest, I encountered barriers when I started cycling in foreign countries. I had never experienced sharing the road with cars and motorbikes before. The sense of freedom suddenly changed into a concern about my safety. What really helped was exploring the area with locals. Once you feel confident about riding in a new city, you don't want to do anything else anymore. Another barrier is the shortage of bike rental shops abroad. This is why I purchased a Brompton bike: you can literally take your bike anytime and anywhere.
What do you think are the main benefits of cycling for yourself?
Cycling is an important component of a healthy lifestyle because it makes you move. Besides, it's non-polluting and you can avoid traffic jams. Like I mentioned before, it gives you a sense of freedom. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings while being close to a culture and its people.
What would you say to someone thinking about getting into cycling?
Just do it! In my opinion, the government and the municipality have the duty to make sure that the infrastructure is bicycle-proof. If we keep on encouraging complacency and the certainty of a car, not much will change. So, make yourself public on a bike and be part of the movement to make cycling possible for everyone and everywhere!
Find out more about Nina here - http://www.ollinspire.com/lifestyle/