When we think about The Netherlands, we think about bikes and cycling paths. It's one of the country's trademarks. This interesting video tells us how cycling became so common in The Netherlands almost 40 years ago.
I don't cycle like the Dutch do
I don't cycle when it's snowing, windy, rainy or cold. I generally take the bus. Almere has a very good bus network. The bus stop is just around the corner and every 7 minutes we have a bus to the city center. A much warmer and comfortable trip, don't you think? ;-)
I only use my bike for recreation purposes. I enjoy cycling, specially in the spring, nearby the canal. I stop here and there, have a picnic, watch the sunset, and come back. Heel leuk!
For the rest, I use the bus or the train. I don't need to use my bike as they show in the video below. However, I think it is very cool to do as they do it!
I don't have a long history with bikes
I had a bike when I was a child, but soon I stopped cycling. The primary school, as well as the high school, were just around the corner. Later, when I went to the University, the bus and the metro were my favourite means of transport. And they remain so for 20 years more.
My current bike was bought after two years living in The Netherlands. I didn't miss it at first because we were living in the city center. Everything was just there.
One day, I dared to go for a long ride and I even crossed a bridge. However, the experience didn't go so well. I was on the right side of the road when I saw that a motorbike was coming on the left side. So far, so good. I slowed down a bit. Then, another motorbike suddenly appears between me and the previous one and I saw myself with no space available to go forward. I was not expecting this and I got scared and fell. Nobody stopped or asked me if I was ok. Just for luck, my glasses didn't drop in the canal. Niet leuk! Now, I'm trying other routes. I have a lot of paths to discover yet.
The Dutch are Pros with their bikes
The Dutch are very professional when riding their bikes. I'm far from having their cycling confidence.
I don't see myself riding my bike and, at the same time, reading a sms, talking on the phone, reading a newspaper or holding an umbrella. For me, it's also difficult to stop at the stoplight, put the foot in the floor and then restart cycling. I need a sidewalk where I can lean on.
Everyday Life in a Bike
In this video, you will find very interesting moments, specially in the following minutes:
1.42 A lady riding a bike and watching her mobile phone.
2.20 A lady riding her bike with her bags behind and her child in the front.
5.09 A lady riding her bike with one child behind and another in the front.
5.28 A lady riding her bike with a front box and three children inside.
6.18 A lady riding a brommer, very useful for those who have problems with their legs or get tired easily.
7.53 Children, adults and old people cycling. This is Netherlands!!!
8.29 A housewife in her bike with several baskets.
8.34 A well dressed lady riding her bike, probably coming from her work.
Almere has an extensive cycling network
Almere offers great cycling conditions. An extensive network of free cycling paths covers the entire city. Bikes can be rented at Almere Centrum and Buiten train stations. The Spoorbaanpad in Almere is considered the longest urban cycle route of the country. The name means ‘Rail road path’ and refers to the fact that it follows the rail road for its entire length. For more details, please click here.
How we say "bike" in Dutch?
"Fiets"! You can't imagine my surprise when I've heard it for the first time. "That's so different!" I thought...
I would like to hear from you about your cycling experience in The Netherlands. Do you want to share it with us?