Spring by Kathryn White

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Netherlands: Bicycles and Cycling

As I mentioned before, the whole country of the Netherlands has amazing, intricate trails and safe, level pathways throughout farmland and along waterways, past small towns, villages and hamlets. Cycling is a common and routine method of transportation for students, families, those who go to work, for shopping and for recreational purposes. They do not require a licence nor any special equipment such as a helmet...just the bike with working headlights and tail lights, a bell to signal that you are passing or to alert another cyclist, some saddlebags/shopping totes/baskets
and a good lock.
If you have time, you can read more about it here:
Cycling in the Netherlands
(very interesting!)
We were very privileged to be able to use borrowed bicycles from family, and used them almost every day for the duration of our trip as seen here:

Although blurry, this was our first outing through the town
and along the cycle paths...just beautiful!

Waiting for the family in front of us to cross the street:

Bicycles in Urk:

Bicycles in Franeker as seen from our boat:

Scooters are also used in the larger
towns and cities as seen in Sneek.
How would you like to win this one?
Wouldn't it be fun to do all you shopping with a scooter?
Stylish, don't you think?

Pink...how cute is that?

Biking and Boating in Sneek:

Hitching a ride while biking down the midstraat of Sneek:
( enjoying time with a cousin)

More shoppers in Sneek as seen here:

Lovely baskets on the front of bikes:

Biking to the Lake:

Biking in the Joure:

Many bikes are decorated with flowers...so cute!

Biking to the Library:

And on our day trip to Amsterdam,
we discovered that the city has over a million bicycles
for the population of 750,000 people,
some having more than one bicycle for their family.
This city is known for its bicycle culture!
Bikes have the right-of-way here.
Pedestrians must always be on the look-out
and move onto the sidewalk,
when a bicycle or scooter passes through.
Although large locks are used, many bicycles get stolen each year,
therefore, people do not take their best bicycle
on their every day outings to work or shopping.
Can you imagine trying to find your bike after a long day
at the office?
(the bicycle parking garage)

Decorating the bicycle city-style:

This is a bicycle with a large front wooden box is called a bakfiets,
where adults will take two or three small children
in the front to take them to day care, to school or just for shopping:

Many bicycles end up in the canals every year. As we took the canal cruise in Amsterdam, we noticed that some bicycles were barely hanging on, even though thick, heavy-duty locks were used.
Each year, municipalities will remove the bicycles
as well as the small cars
that roll into the canals
Here is a brief clip showing the removal of bikes.

I am coming to the conclusion of our trip, just wanting to highlight a few villages yet in the remainder of my posts to follow. It is difficult to condense 2 1/2 weeks into blog form, but I trust you will have a better view of the small country of the Netherlands and in particular Friesland when I conclude....