On the other side of the North Sea

bbq in the park

I’m in Holland, house sitting for friends in their house in Utrecht. We arrived by plane on Sunday, Monday I hired a cargo bike to transport my kiddies about, we’ve really only been using it to get around – this isn’t a cycling holiday but our transportation is predominantly by bike. We’ve covered miles, rain and shine and it’s been easy, seamless and well, just getting around.

I’ve seen all kinds of people, from Mums with an 8 year old cycling next to them, the familiar sound of Mum saying “be careful” “watch out” etc, dozens of other cargo bikes of course, people riding with a passenger on the carrier, youngish student girl with a great big duvet stuffed into a big bag resting on her handle bars as she cycles. Heavily pregnant Mum eating an ice cream while cycling with toddler on front handlebar seat and larger child on the back. 50 year old women, in every day clothes cycling side by side chatting as they cycle. It’s just transportation.

While we were sitting outside the swimming pool yesterday, there’s a major cycle path route that passes the pool and a flock of racing cyclists swanned by – all in identical lycra, it was literally like a flock of birds!

I actually saw one fixie yesterday afternoon! so they do exist here. I’ve not seen one spartan – the UK breed of cyclist all hi-viz and lycra. In fact I don’t think other than the racing cyclists we saw, I don’t think I’ve seen one helmet or hi-viz other than the one my son’s worn to day in the rain – because it’s his rain mac (and well, he uses it to cycle to school…in Ely)

I also saw a wheelchair cyclist with a hand powered pedal, just going about their business. There’s a guy in Ely who would love to be able to get around Ely like they can here.bike parking

Today we cycled to a Space Exhibition in the city centre of Utrecht, this part is right in the middle of being re-developed and everything is a massive building site. It didn’t stop there being make shift cycle paths with temporary traffic lights. The sheer volume of bikes in the bike park was insane.

Trying to find something to lock my cargo bike was a bit of a challenge. Although much faster than searching for a car parking space on a Saturday in Ely, that’s for sure.

parking cargo bike

4 thoughts on “On the other side of the North Sea

  1. Nice post Christine! Quick question: Have E-Bikes taken off in NL at all? They’re everywhere in Germany now, especially older people use them to go further and do more trips. I guess they’d be very useful for cargo bikes?

    1. You do see bikes with ACUs on the carrier, especially older people. They are quite common, yes 🙂

  2. Thanks Christine. I was wondering whether a cargo bike would be useful for Ely considering most trips for me would be to the supermarkets up and down the only hill in Ely, but with the help of a little engine it might actually make it a better option…

    1. A cargo bike with electric motor would work perfectly in Ely, I was thinking of that myself. I tried a two wheeler and found I could get up Lisle lane with two five year old’s in the front without help, the gearing is fantastic.

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