Sarah Goodyear, writing at Atlantic Cities:
This emphasis on early education in the rules of the road doesn't simply result in well-mannered and safe bike riders who use the excellent cycling infrastructure on Dutch streets responsibly. It also means that everyone in the society understands what it is to be a cyclist. All the people driving cars have had experience on bikes. They can look at cyclists and think, "That could be me."
I have been harping on about this for years. The "us versus them" mentality in Sydney - I can't speak for the other Australian capitals - has come about by a complete lack of understanding by people who have never ridden a bike on the street. And I don't mean around the block in a local suburb. Try riding into town from the inner-city, let alone a spin around the Sydney CBD, and you'll get a sense of how frightening it can be. You need to be equal parts confident, which tends to breed riders on an agro tip, and crazy. Confidently crazy. There's absolutely no respect, and it's sad to say this, but unless we start getting the next generation onto bikes at a young age, there'll never be any.