I have just read “In the Shadow of the Sword,” about the growth of Christianity and Islam. It describes the factions of the early Church – the Arians, the Monophysites, the Orthodox, the heterodox, the heretics, the schismatics, the Chalcedonians who accepted the council of Chalcedon and the Nestorians who did not, the People’s Front of Judaea, the Judaean People’s Front etc.
I have emerged from my reading to find there is a similar debate among cycling advocates. Just as the language of philosophy is Greek, so the language of transport cycling is Dutch.
You have your Nederlanders: Dutch people unaware that they are the centre of world wide debate. They just ride bikes when it suits them. A few race bikes, but most don’t. This dangerous diversity bothers them not one whit. But then you have your extra- or hyper- Nederlanders, who are not Dutch [Editor’s link]. They believe that any deviation from the way of Dutchness is heresy. No experiment with alternatives is permissible – the Dutch (cycle) path is the only path. They are like the emperor Hadrian, spellbound by Greece.
You have your Deens (or Danes) similar to Nederlanders, but regarded by extra-Nederlanders as dangerous schismatics. You have your Deense Architecten, such as Mikael Colville-Andersen, of cycle-chic fame. They advocate the riding of bikes, but regard interest in bikes as little better than worshipping graven images. Bicycle specific clothing? – they shudder to their protestant/iconoclast core. But they are tolerant of the sins of others.