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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Dutch Bicycle

If you have traveled to The Netherlands, you probably already know all about this, but if you haven’t...then, you have no idea how much the Dutch people are in love with their bicycles!  My own children and I would always bike to school as a fun way to get there without having to sit in the dreaded hundred mile long car line at dismissal.  Going on a bike ride in the U.S. was something to do on a weekend for fun.  The Dutch people have taken this “fun invention” and incorporated it into almost every aspect of their daily lives.  Bike riding in The Netherlands is a way of life.  There are even signs specifically for the bikers to follow right along with the cars...

My husband has been here a bit longer than the kids and me, and he soon found out the necessity of having a bike here.  As a matter of fact, he bikes to the train station near our house and takes the train to the city he works in, and he has another bike waiting for him at the train station there so he can bike to his office.  It is not unusual for a Dutch person to have more than one bike for just one person. Check out the few pictures I snapped from my own bike at a bike storage facility near a local train station.

    (Side note:  And...this may make some of my American friends wince a little bit....we only have ONE car!!!  Yes, ONE car my friends.  I know, I know...I was a little taken aback about the one car deal (Ok, there may have been words said to my husband, and they may have been very loud words about how I was going to deal with only having one car and what if he needed the car on the days I needed it, etc. etc....turns out, I really don’t drive too much here...more on that later in another post.)  There are actually weeks that have gone by before I arrived with the kids that he simply didn’t even use the car at all.  No joke!)

But, back to how the Dutch people LOVE their bikes. there are even collapsible bikes that commuters can fold up and take on the train with them!  What a genius invention ( I tried to take a few pictures of those people with their bikes...but I knew I would look like a crazy person trying to take their picture....but, don’t worry I will get a good picture of the collapsible bike! But until I take my own picture, you can check out pictures of a collapsible bike here.

Since the kids and I have arrived, we have biked almost everywhere  It is actually easier to bike around here than it is to drive a car through the narrow streets.  And I will talk about this more in anther post, but there are probably more bikers than motorists in our town, and I am deathly afraid of hitting a biker here.

Since we arrived last week, we have seen many different types and styles of bikes here that would put  our plain ‘ole American bikes to shame.  I managed to snap a few pictures.  I love how people can use huge crates or baskets on their bikes...very helpful when grocery shopping (I"ll tell y’all about my biking grocery disaster in another post.)

Side pouches on the back of bikes are a must here...
And if you don’t need the basket/crate, you can remove it and it becomes a chair on the front of your bike.:)

This next one is one of my all time favorites!  When we took the kids to Amsterdam back in 2009 while we were living in Lagos, my mind was blown with what looked to me like wheelbarrows attached to the front of the bicycles.  The kids loved it.  Of course they were 17 months and 4 years old at the time...but my husband and I thought it was awesome to put the kids right in the “wheelbarrow” and he and I rode all over Amsterdam with them.  You can see a few pics of our time on those bikes in Amsterdam by clicking here.  They were so little and cute!!:)  Anyway, here are a few pictures of the Dutch Bakfiets (which is the proper word..not wheelbarrow:)) I have found around our Dutch town...

I know I am just scratching the surface of all the different bikes here, and as I see other bicycles, I will try to snap pictures of them as well.  There is something about things being a bit simpler here and just hopping on your bicycle to get wherever you need to go...just remember to get back on if you happen to fall off for no apparent reason at all! ( more on that later!)
Dag! ( Good bye) for now!:)

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