Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dutch Wheels

Last week's jaunt to the Netherlands brought us face to face with one of the world's most bike-oriented cultures. So it seemed fitting to share some of the fun on Earth Day.

Have you ever balanced a load on the front of a bike? I have a noticeably harder time when my front basket is filled, so I can't even imagine steering with the large plastic milk-type crates (filled!) that most Dutch bikes seem to feature, let alone maneuvering with one of the cargo bikes!

Also impressive were the numbers of child seats I would see on any given bike. Children could not only ride on the back of the bike, but also up front by the handlebars. Fathers and mothers would go whizzing by with babies and toddlers perched just behind the handlebars. And no, helmets were a rare sight on anybody...

What I do appreciate, though, is the fact that nearly every bike shows a bit of personality. Things like a teen's neon cargo crate, a red polka-dotted bell or a brightly painted luggage rack on an otherwise black bike, or -most fun- bikes featuring fun, brightly patterned oilcloth bike bags. I wish I could've justified getting a set for myself! Also popular were strings of plastic flowers woven around the handlebars. A little too kitschy for my taste, but totally fun nonetheless. And frankly, we could all use a little more fun, right?

Seeing all the cyclists in the Netherlands reminded me of how little I've been riding my own bike lately. I need to get out there more often! Any of you regularly ride a bike? Do you pimp your bike in any way? I have practical red bike bags on my otherwise black bike. Sort of something, but not as fun as I'd want. Maybe I need to do a little crafting to get me motivated (b/c the hill we live on is less than motivating, ha!).

1 comment :

Linda said...

Greetings from Montreal, Canada. I personally don't ride a bike, but many in Montreal do, and we have the Bixi program here whereas tourists and Montrealers alike can rent a bike.

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