July 27, 2019
Dear Friends and Family,
In Amsterdam, there are bicycles EVERYWHERE! Bike riders in Amsterdam are very skilled, I have seen people holding hands while riding their bikes, riding their bike with one hand or no hands, and riding their bike while pulling another bike. One person may pedal his/her bike while another person rides on the back or front of his/her bike. You may also see one person pedaling his/her bike with a rider in the front of the bike AND a rider on the back of the bike. Bike riders eat, drink, smoke, and text while pedaling too. A new law has been put into place regarding no texting while riding a bicycle. Also, most of the bike riders do not wear helmets. If you are accidentally walking in the bike lane, the bike rider will ring their bell which is a signal telling you to “get out of my way!”. I upgraded my mountain bike and made it “Amsterdam friendly” by adding a kickstand, bell, etc. I was very intimidated to ride my bike for the first time, but I took the plunge on a Saturday morning when people were not commuting to work. Many locals know that you are American if you wear a helmet. I figured that maybe the locals would be a little “nicer” to me since I was a beginner bike rider in Amsterdam wearing a helmet!