Holland: Surely the Bike Capital of the World

By: leelefever on October 17, 2006 - 1:57am

The bicycle is a part of the Dutch national identity and the degree to which Dutch people ride bikes is truly astounding. One of the interesting things about the bikes is they all appear to be "old-timey" - from another age. 


In fact, this style has roots in the Nazi occupation of Holland.  During that time, the Nazis tried to confiscate the bikes from the locals.  Those bikes that were left became symbols of the resistance and even today, many of the bikes on the street either date back to that era or are reproductions of the same bikes.


And as locals described to us, the style is practical.  You site upright on the seat in such a way that it is easy to carry groceries or kids, or dogs or whatever.  However, what we found is that this is true in a flat country like Holland.  Don't try to go uphill on a Dutch bike.

On a recommendation from TwinF member cwolz, we took a day and took a train from Amsterdam to Gouda and then rode bikes from Gouda to Oudewater and back.  He was right - biking in the countryside is a trip into the real Holland.  We highly recommend it.



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