Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Bicycle Culture

One of the most interesting and unique things about Amsterdam, besides the intricate and beautiful canal system, is the huge bike riding culture. The Dutch are truly creative when it comes to maximizing the use of their bikes. I’ve seen parent’s with a toddler standing on the back and babies strapped into the handlebars, 20-something women transporting tables, and postmen hauling packages in special trailers. My first Amsterdam-style bike experience was this past weekend when I went out with the Jims – Atlanta Jim and Jim M. We were heading across town and decided the fastest way would be to “cycle,” as they say here, so I hopped on the back wheel (there is a small rack, just big enough for an adult butt!) and off we went. I was surprised at just how easy it was. We hit a few bumps that shifted me on my seat, but for the most part the ride was very smooth and the balancing not as hard as I expected. I caught a few glimpses of myself in some shop windows, and I must say I was very proud at how very Amsterdam I looked gliding along so effortlessly.

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