Every once in a while someone comes along and shows that we can do things differently. One of those people is BBC News foreign correspondent Anna Holligan.
Yesterday, Holligan posted a video on Twitter to bring us the daily news update from the Netherlands as she cycled along.
Check it out below.
Dutch news from the cycle path.
Early edition. pic.twitter.com/7ShdDaTzLk
— anna holligan 🎙 (@annaholligan) May 3, 2021
I had just one question: Why?
For Holligan, the idea came in a moment of serendipitous inspiration. After seeing her colleague Adam Fleming shoot the political headlines from Westminster on his phone, “it occurred to me I could do exactly the same from my bike as I cycle,” she tells me.
In case you weren’t aware, there are quite hefty fines (€95 [$114]) for using your phone while cycling in the Netherlands. However, Holligan has a solution that’s 100% legal: a selfie stick! Finally, someone is doing something useful with one.
The selfie stick is attached to the handlebars of her cargo bike or bakfiets for the Dutch, and it means she can remain in full control of the bike as she cycles along.
A Rode lapel mic with wind shield into her phone takes care of the audio.
“And then [I] cycle and share the stories,” Holligan said. “I think it’s cool how the tech enables to do something quite innovative with such ease.”
“Some people have said it looks dangerous, but I’m literally doing the same as if I was cycling and chatting to a friend,” Holligan added.
It’s a privilege and a real pleasure to share something that could inspire others and involves combining two tasks I was doing anyway, to create something a bit different.
Indeed, to non-Dutch eyes it will look quite novel, perhaps even startling to see such a contraption strapped to a bicycle.
But if you’ve spent any time in the Netherlands you’ll know it’s quite common for people to do all manner of things while cycling. I once saw a man light a cigarette while counting wads of cash as he cycled along. I’m still certain he had a third hand.
Indeed, for Holligan, it’s not just about sharing the headlines. She also wants to share the “incredible, world-enviable cycle paths we have here in the Netherlands.”
And Holligan’s got a point. I couldn’t name another place where you could do something like this. Try doing this in central London or New York as cars pass you by with inches to spare.
Instead, in Holland we get the news set to a backdrop of a peaceful bike ride, cherry blossom, and the quiet hum of an electric cargo bike. It’s a serene, and elegant way of living and doing business.
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