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.


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:




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!