It’s a rainy day today here in Amsterdam. Curt and I are being lazy and lounging … sleeping way too late, but there is a futbol match tonight at 10 p.m., which will keep us up late. Plus, we’re on vacation so who cares!
This is my third visit to Amsterdam and the thing that I am always impressed by are all of the cyclists (and a few other things). But this post is about bicycles.
One day Curt and I were at a cafe and we observed a Dutch woman on a bike in a skirt and boots on her phone with a kid on the bike and a bag hanging off of her while going up a slight hill like it was no big deal.
It’s a way of life around here. Our friends who live outside The Hague have five bikes among the two of them. Houses come with a standard bike shed.
According to I amsterdam, cycling is a fundamental part of Dutch culture and that’s especially evident in Amsterdam, where a total of 2 million kilometers (which is about 1,242,742 miles) is cycled every day. The popularity of cycling is often put down to it being fast and cheap, alongside the convenience of being able to travel door to door. Cycling is also healthy and bikes themselves take up a relatively small amount of space.
From the little reading I have done the Dutch overall seem to be rather healthy. That is because of their healthy diets and all of their biking.
From the Future of News, … instead of driving cars all over the place, the prominent mode of transportation is the bike. Sure they still use vehicles when it comes driving long distances, but for commuting around town, going back and forth to work, and for recreation, bicycles are the predominant mode of transportation.
According to Cycling in the Netherlands–Mad about bikes, The Netherlands is the only nation in the world with more bicycles than people. In a country with 16.5 million people, there are 1.1 bicycles for each one–or roughly 18 million bikes. In Amsterdam alone, there are approximately 550,000 bikes, vs. 215,000 autos. And 75% of all Amsterdam residents (aged 12 or older) own a bicycle; half of them use it daily.
Since biking is a way of life in The Netherlands, children start riding a bike at a young age and it just becomes a part of their everyday life. Getting outdoors and riding a bike are a great way to start a healthy lifestyle and maintain it.