A Travellerspoint blog

the Slowest Cyclist in Holland . . .

and maybe the world

overcast 12 °C

When we left Amsterdam and by train to Maassluis, I was thinking about how flat Holland is and how much I was going to enjoy cycling around. Well, I may have been slightly mistaken as the truth is I would rather ride a horse . . . heck, I would rather ride an elephant than a bicycle (if you have ever been on an elephant you know how uncomfortable that can be). For starters it may be flat here but if you're cycling - you're working, and it seems there are many long hills to ride up and then the ride down is over in seconds . . . it’s just not fair. OK! maybe that was just the wind we were riding into, but it seemed uphill. I’m not sure if it’s the cycling or living with vegetarians but I seem to be a lot slimmer than when we arrived.
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. . . hard work into the wind
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. . . doing well now
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. . . and then he was pooped

As you can tell Charlie’s been whining a little, go figure! But I’ve been really impressed with his enthusiasm to go out on the bikes. One thing for sure is you need to learn the rules of the roads and the bike paths. There are many traffic circles and signs of all kinds, some of which are certainly helpful if you know how to read them. Generally, the roads are narrow and there is traffic of all kinds. Some roadways have bike lanes included, some bike paths run separately and parallel to the road. Some bike paths are one way, some are two way. Generally the bike paths/lanes are of red brick while the walking paths are grey and the roads either asphalt or grey brick. There is a system of longer bike routes that cross the whole country. These routes are numbered and on any given country bike path you will find signs that tell you where you are on a particular route and which direction to follow to stay on that chosen route.
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I enjoy seeing the many types and sizes of bikes. From the style we have at home and are most common to us, to touring bikes, racing bikes, folding bikes, pedal assist bikes. There are those that have all manner of baskets or carriers (front and back), saddle bags, huge wooden boxes attached to the front . . . these are used to transport up to five small kids or a lot of groceries. The one thing that is non-existent is helmets. No one wears them. Rumour has it that the Dutch don’t wear helmets as their heads are actually harder than the plastic . . . unsubstantiated of course.
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Posted by cnmcgeehan 12:51 Tagged bikes

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Comments

I enjoyed reading this very much! You guys are so good describing people and places and made me feel as if I'm reading a good book. Today I learned something new and laughed a lot with the "unsubstantiated" comment of the helmets. Thanks for sharing!

by Cristal Holland

I can only say that between the 2 of you , you are both great writers and photographers. I imagine that you have discovered that walking 5 1/2 hours in one day can sure wear out a pair of wooden shoes in a hurry. Look forward to more. Neil.

by Neil Swensrude

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