I wouldn’t call myself a real Dutchman, except for this one aspect.
The Netherlands are flat. As sad as that may be, it does bring the benefit of making the entire country very bike-friendly. It’s one of the most widely used methods of transport. Children learn how to ride bikes at very young ages and a bunch of our politicians head to work by bike. The things are very much a part of daily life for everyone, whether they’re riding them or not.
Having been away from my homeland for quite some time now, I start longing for the simple pleasures of the Dutch life. Being able to overcome distances more quickly than by foot, without having to rely on public transport, while still getting some rewarding exercise in… it almost seemed like a distant dream.
But of course, bikes are very much a worldwide thing. Nowhere as popular for casual use at the flatlands, but sports bikes are all over. And so I went and got myself a mountain bike. Helmet, lights, lock… yeah, it may be time to stop splurging. I saved up for this trip so that I wouldn’t have to watch my wallet constantly, but funds are draining fast.
I must say though, from a few short rides: already worth it. The Dutchman in me has been satisfied.