czwartek, 18 października 2012

5 Secrets of the Cyclist

As I mentioned in my last post, I've learned a lot about bicycles during last year. Don't get me wrong, I knew how to cycle before I moved to Holland ;) I'd say more, I really liked it. Riding my bike in summer through the hills around my village (I actually prefered more the flat routes, but unfortunately there's not many of these where I come from. It's rather hilly). Maybe my new knowledge would seem weird or funny to you, but here in the Netherlands it's perfectly valid! ;)

Get ready, here's: THE 5 SECRETS OF THE CYCLIST:
  1. In the Netherlands a bike is a very popular vehicle. We're cycling alone, with a girlfriend/boyfriend/any friend on a rack, with children (yes, plural!) in a special chairs. There's no such a thing (of the size not bigger than the cyclist himself) that you couldn't transport on a bicycle. You can carry this way almost anything: shopping, groceries, books, other people, krates of beer, furniture, flowers, animals... You only have to remember to secure it well and not to loose the balance ;)
  2. Cloths are very important when it comes to cycling. And I don't mean some sports tricot, since we are using our bicycles in everyday life, to get to school, work, meet with friends, go for shopping, for the party, anywhere. To protect yourself from the rain and wind it's worth to get one of those plastic ponchos or even better - a good raincoat. And boots! Definitely... wet jeans are not pleasant at all. Surprisingly I discovered, that heels are perfect for the bicycle! Ask me why? If you're not as tall as an average Dutchman (meaning 2 meters high), while stopping on the traffic lights and croossroads you'd gonna have to jump off your bike. How much easier and more comfortable is the support your balance with a heel that will reach the ground? And if neverthless you still prefer a flat sole, that stay close to the curb... Trust me, he'd be your best friend ;)

  3. source
  4. During my driving lessons long time ago I remember I hated rear parking. I hate it till today and if I'd have to park this way most likely I'd search for a different parking place :D But than, thanks to cycling in Holland I already know: parking and maneuvering with a car is nothing comparing to parking a bicycle in a crowded places like university, city hall, shopping center, train station. Everywhere where's a lot of cyclists and "bicycle parkings". It not even that difficult to park as to get it back later! Of course if you managed to find a free space in a first place... When you're back your bike is gonna be more likely blocked there and pulling it out requires acrobat skills, flair and sometime some help from outside. I wonder sometimes while I'm struggling with my bike, if other people don't see me as a thief ;) 
  5. Now imagine this situation: you have an important appointment. You dress nicely and smart, you leave home earlier to be there on time and not the arrive sweating like a pig (cause you were rushing). You go downstairs, unlock the 10 locks, padlocks, chains that are protecting your bike from stealing, you're just about to jump on your bike a go, when you discover... a FLAT TIRE! And suddenly your world is about to crush. You can choose: a) fixing the tire (and probably get dirty) or run to the bus stop to catch a bus (and get sweaty). No matter which one you choose, you're gonna be late anyway. Luckly in the Netherlands a flat tire is a perfectly understandable explanation for being late. It's also probably the most common and populat excuse (at least used by students).

  6. "F***ck, a flat tire!" perfectly describes these emotions. source
  7. There are hundreds of kilometers of the bicycle lanes. The government is trying to encourage people to using their bikes instead of cars. They are also taking care of our safety. They went so far, that if there was a collision of a bike and a car, the driver is always guilty. Even if it was actually the cyclist's fault. The cyclists have the priority and the cars are obediently letting them go first. There's no use to argue. Of course it doesn't mean that users of the single-track wheelers should enforce their priority and not pay any attention to the road. After all it's not pleasant to be run over by a car.

3 komentarze:

  1. I must tell u this! After reading your post I brace myself and ride on my bike with heels on. Guess what? I fell twice and still had to jump off my bike at traffic light. I'm such an idiot! hahaha

    1. Haha, if it's ganna make you feel better I must admitt that my first time on bike with heels was not very successful... keep practicing! Plus I guess for you it must be harder, since (if I remember well) you're really tiny ;)

  2. I must say it is good tips for an idiot like me. I just need to train to be more skilled. LOL!


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