Saturday, February 25, 2012

Photo February Day Twenty Five

Bikes in Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2010

Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't been on a bike for twenty years, so landing in the Netherlands was an eye opener. EVERYBODY rides a bike around he place. Yes, they do have the the luck of having one hill in the country which is the size of a speed hump and they do have an infrastructure that gives bikes the right of way, but there are nine million bike riders on the roads there and I don't think I saw one person wearing a helmet over there... maybe not having the threat of a $154 fine for not wearing one is enough to keep them off their heads.

The other thing about Dutch bikes, they look comfortable. They have a nice padded seat to keep your tush happy. You sit upright, none of this stooping over nonsense. They have mud guards (spatborden according to Glen Waverley - essential he says - but I think there is innuendo involved with what he's saying) and sensible handlebars and everybody looks happy when they ride a bike. People have old fashioned lights and baskets and bags attached. They look fun. Though I'm not sure how I'd go cycling over wet cobblestones... or in sleet...

Bikes are just a way of life here. It's mad, but it's lovely. There are even bike parks near all the railway stations where thousands of bikes are parked during the day - like Australia's multi-story car parks, they have them for bikes.

If I had a real girlie bike like these ones I'd probably ride one more - that and I'd get rid of the cars on the road.




4 comments:

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Never been to Utrecht but have visited and worked in Amsterdam so many times that I have lost count.

And there are gazillions of bikes there:

http://plasmanceye.blogspot.com/2009/06/bicycle-party.html

:-)

Cheers

PM

Jackie K said...

They are the kind of bikes I like! Padded seats- haven't heard of those but a must.
My weightloss goal is to buy myself a bike when I hit my goal weight and go tootling round the streets with my kids. Basket, bell and lights - of course!

Pandora Behr said...

@PM = Utrecht is well worth a visit - and it's less than an hour out of Amsterdam - a great day trip.

@JK - Why not get a bike now? they're great!

Kath Lockett said...

I'm kinda sorta thinking about getting a bike and yep, I'd be keen to find out the real meaning of 'spataborden' before I said it to anyone publicly!