europe -

Bike Roads

In Amsterdam there are bike roads constructed everywhere. I'm not even sure they should be considered lanes because in many cases they are roads in their own right. The first thing I learned when I came here was that they are not for pedestrians. It only took one time. The same thing happened to me in Vancouver once. It must be a common mistake for foreigners.

Quite often you'll see passengers sitting sideways on the rack. The racks on these bikes are sturdy and people carry everything on them. While walking in the morning I saw parents carrying their kids to school. It's no wonder the bicycle culture is passed from one generation to the next.

Bikes are parked everywhere but the highest concentrations are around train stations. At some stations its the only form of parking. There are tens of thousands parked in massive multi-level lots.

Bike mechanics thrive here, bike shops are more common than cheese shops. However people are resourceful and I saw riders jump off to quickly fix a slipped chain or flat tire. It appears that most people know the basics out of necessity.

Despite all this I rode no bikes while I was here. I only walked so I could take it all in. But on my next trip that will be different. Riding a bike seems the most natural thing to do in Amsterdam.


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