Friday, March 6, 2009

Neverland Netherlands # 3 - Bicycles

A omafiets, a dutch word for grandma's bike, is traditional form of roadster bicycle used in the Netherlands and are referred to as Dutch bikes outside of the Netherlands. Omafiets bicycles are painted black with a steel frame and give the rider an upright riding position. The single-speed gear bike has a skirt guard to prevent skirts and dresses becoming entangled in the rear wheel or its spokes. However both sexes ride omafiets bicycles and are often painted with bright colors.

Cycling in the Netherlands is inexplicably common. I'd go father to say the relationship between the Dutch and their bikes could be seen as perverted. Adopting to these wheeled friends as my main transpiration tool has been difficult. The weather has been unforgiving -chilly, raining almost every other day. I hate being wet and riding a bike during a storm means I'm getting wetter faster. The country is well equipped with cycle-paths and cycle facilities. The network reaches all parts of the nation and into the bordering nations of Belgium and Germany. The cycling surface quality is good and the routing tends to be direct with gentle turns making it possible to cycle at speed for considerable distances. Bike lanes come with their own sets of rules and systems - including traffic signals/lights, tunnels and lanes. 

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