It’s not a stretch to say there are more bikes in Amsterdam than cars. Quite frankly, the roads aren’t wide enough and the city is compact. So much easier to bike than find a parking spot.
Seventy five of Amsterdam own a bike. Numerous Amsterdam actually have two or more bikes: one for daily journeys in the city (a city bicycle) and/or a bike for recreation (a touring bicycle) and/or a bike for cycle racing (a racer). Amsterdam is home to an estimated 880,000 bikes. Naturally, the faster bikes are in the country and beware of vomit. Vomit stands for Middle aged men in tights. That’s what the local call them. I think it’s a term of endearment. Really. I don’t quite get how the V in vomit become M in Middle, but I went with it.
We spent two days on a bike, both days in a tour group. One day around the city and the second out to the countryside. Don’t be too impressed the countryside is only a mere 6 km away. Nothing like seeing and learning about culture through the eyes and on a bike than sitting in your hotel room wishing the rain rain would go away.
What I’ve noticed, everyone obeys the traffic signals. Everyone. And you are violating the red walk man, the car (or bike) will run you over. They won’t stop.
Bells, are not to used unless you are about it hit someone because they are crossing on a red man, even them that’s a bit iffy. Every bell sounds the same. And using hand signals are a must. You point the direction you are turning with the hand that is closest to the point you are turning. It none of the silly American hand signals in which you use the left hand for right turns. Use your left hand to turn right, the passing person will shake your hand and chat with you.
And people jog here. Crazy right; after all that biking they do; they jog to keep in shape.
And numb ass. Neap, that’s what it called if you’ve been on that bike seat a wee bit too long. But did I really need to explain that to you?
And finally, the biggest insult; of all times to a Dutch person, calling them a pancake. I plan on using this insult throughout my travels. I hope people think I’m just calling them thin instead of being thin headed.