There are so many bikes in the Netherlands! I have found it impossible not to encounter at least a few bicycles on any single day in the Netherlands. Even when I spend the day locked up inside studying I can still see people riding around.
The Netherlands has over 16 million people and approximately 18 million bikes, that’s more than one bike person, not to mention all the bicycles that are at the bottom of canals. And there are many of them!
The Dutch even have there own style of bike, it very pretty and heavy. Which it appears can be very beneficial. 🙂
One thing that makes the Netherlands so great for biking country and which is extremely flat, there are no mountains or even hills to peddle over. It is strange when there is a slight rise to the ground; it’s almost as if gravity stopped for a moment.
With countless amounts of bicycles, there has been a change in who dominate the roads. Where in Australia it is the vehicle drivers who are the most dominant in the Netherlands it is the bicyclists. If you don’t quickly get out of the way it’s quite possible you will get run over, on the other hand cars seem to be more than happy to stop for pedestrians.
Last weekend I spent the night out and on the way home I was so looking forward to hopping my bike for a quick ride home and shower and bed. But who would have guessed, the neat little place in the corner of the bike parking that I had left my bike no longer protected my sturdy transportation that got me from one place to the other.
After frantically looking all over the area for the bike but I had not luck and eventually just walked home.
Do you know what the first thing the Dutch people said to me was? “Welcome to the Netherlands” so apparently it is a very common thing for ones bike to go missing here!
Apparently bikes are always getting stolen here, there are numerous amounts in the canals, and I know of several people that scavenge abandoned bikes and craft new ones. It seems like there is a whole subsystem created around bicycles.
Some bikes that are worth over a thousand dollars completes with insurance policies. Apart for the basic bike features, wheels, handlebars, bike frame, countless other extras are available from saddle bags to baby seats to cargo carriers. And the things people can do while riding… well basically anything you can imagine!