2 bikes alleyway

Two bicycles parked out in the alleyway near the flowermart.

I recently made a trip to Amsterdam to not only learn a bit more about the mechanics of drum/roller brakes, internally geared hubs and generator lights, but also just to absorb the culture in Holland.

What I found in Amsterdam is that bicycles aren’t really thought of as a “culture” or a “means of transportation,” but rather just a way of life.  Bicycles are incorporated in everything.  From the way they get around town, just going down the street, carrying groceries or children or even as a front of the shop display, bicycles are present.

Pashley Cheese

A Pashley bread(cheese) bike parked out as decoration in front of a cheese shop.

If you are taking the time to read this, you most likely are fond of bicycling or fond of the idea of bicycling.  All socio-economic groups in Amsterdam ride bicycles and it works out due to the lay of their land.  The terrain is flat, the streets are narrow and there are dedicated bicycle lanes almost on every street.  It is the perfect setting for bicycles to be a quick way of getting around and the perfect setting for not allowing automobiles to do so.  Most of the United States does not offer this type of urban environment, but I believe that a bicycle lifestyle should still be promoted for health and convenience reasons, but most of all – it’s just fun!

William Hsu | My Dutch Bike

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