If there is one thing that really sums up the Dutch culture, its their complete fascination and need to ride their bikes every where, all the time, regardless of weather!
Yesterday the sun was shining, so I was unable to capture the suited gentleman, briefcase and brolly in hand riding to work – but I did take some time to watch and wait for many of the styles of cyclist that fascinate me so!
I hope a few of these give you a giggle, especially if you have not yet made it over to the Netherlands.
Now, when I saw this, I almost giggled – I’ve lead horses and dogs for exercise, but I’ve never seen a bike being taken out for a ride! That aside, did you know that the average Dutch person owns between 2-3 bikes? They have different bikes for going to work and weekend pleasure riding. Some people even leave a bike in the city where they work specifically to get from the train station to work! Now, you can add your own story to this one……….who knows maybe he’s off on a first date and this is the bike for his prospective girl friend?….Or maybe I’ve just photographed the phantom bike napper in Utrecht!
I see this all the time – dogs being taken for a walk from a bike. What I didn’t manage to photograph was a dog on a bike, and yes they do get carried around on bikes (not actually riding them). I’ve seen dogs in baskets, dogs in special dog trailers, and dogs snuggled in coats on bikes! This has to be one of the most impressive styles of bike riding by the Dutch. No where else would you put a wheelbarrow in front of your bike and then add several kids into it! The balance and power required to ride these is nothing short of amazing.
Of course if you don’t have a wheelbarrow, why not add the children anywhere you can on your bike! I love how the child has the steering and dad has the brakes here. The look of concentration on the kid’s face is almost demon like! Kids in Holland are born with bike riding skills. I’m sure that when kids kick their mothers before being born in Holland they are practicing their bike pedalling. A gentle guiding and encouraging hand is always welcome, even after graduating onto your own bike – especially when biking in the city centres around non natives with cameras! It really does not matter how old you are, biking is a lifelong necessity here in The Netherlands. I’m not sure that a ‘hands free’ law has been brought in regarding the use of mobile phones yet – though maybe i’m wrong? Last but not least a couple of biking photos showing the ability to share this active and healthy past time with others.
As I’ve been writing this blog post and adding the photos I realise I have missed so many of the other biking styles that I so love to see. So I must bring these to you soon, and they will include: the girl friend on the back of the boyfriend’s bike, the biker with an umbrella, the bike carrying at least 3 children in different seats, the biker carrying a bunch of flowers, and of course the crazy lycra clad whizzy bikers who are the ONLY ones in the Netherlands who even consider wearing a bike helmet! I’ll leave you with that thought for now. Look out for bikers part 2!