• Monday, November 29, 2021

    write for AmsterDOCollaborate

  • Amsterdam, the most bike friendly city in the world

    Hello dear reader. It’s Monday March the 10th and the weather in Amsterdam is beautiful. The sun has been shining now for three days in a row and the effect this has on Amsterdammers is incredible. People who are normally too busy checking their smartphones for new messages on tinder, or are engaged in texting their friends “hij is niet verliefd op me, dus…,” actually take the time to smile at complete strangers. I must also add, what wonderful smiles they are indeed. Outside of California, I’ve never seen so many shiny white teeth, which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

    Anyone who has had the pleasure to be almost hit by a cyclist while walking on a pavement, (yes, I know, what a stupid place for a pedestrian to be), doesn’t need to be told that Amsterdam is the most bike friendly city in the world.

    Amsterdammers do everything on bikes. Shopping, texting, kissing, thoughtfully blocking the road while holding hands, oh it brings joy to my heart to see this. I’ve no doubt that some of you reading this article were probably even conceived on a bike, that’s how much the typical Amsterdam resident uses them.

     

    People are conceived on bikes in Amsterdam
    People are conceived on bikes in Amsterdam

    I saw a mother with two children, one a very young baby who she quite responsibly had sat between her and the handlebar of the bike, kind of strapped to her stomach. On the back was an older child of two or three, neither had crash helmets. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, everyone knows that Dutch people learn to ride a bike before they can walk, they can literally cycle with their eyes closed. The law of the land, states quite clearly that if a car hits a bike, the driver is always at fault, never the cyclist. So even if a cyclist goes through a red light and is hit by a car, the driver is to blame. If as a result of such a crash, you lose a leg or an arm, or have a serious concussion, at least you can take pleasure in the fact that the driver was in the wrong.

    Now getting back to my original point about what shiny white teeth the average Amsterdammer has, this explains why at night, so many cyclists in Amsterdam ride around without lights. The assumption of the cyclist is that their teeth are so white that drivers should be able to see them. The Shallow Man also has sympathy with his fellow residents of Amsterdam who have been hit hard by the global recession. Bicycle lights are hideously expensive.

    Lights for a bike start at 3.99 and can cost as much as 24 euros. For such exorbitant prices, it’s well worth taking the risk of being hit by a car at night, especially after you’ve been drinking and are weaving across the road in front of oncoming traffic. Remember to smile, the car drivers should be able to see you. Cycle on.

    No idiots on two wheels who are too tight to spend money on lights for their bike were hurt during the writing of this post.

    Before conceiving a child on a bike, you need to date a Dutch person first. Learn how to do this with my new book, the Shallow Man Guide to Dating the Dutch, available from BOL.com, Amazon and the American Book Center.

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