i wish someone would make a print out of that

Do you know what I find remarkable about images like these?

[Print found in an etsy shop via pinterest]

They’re so in contrast to what depending on your bike for transportation so often is. Yes, you have the sunny, perfect days, in which robins alight on your bike and sing you to your destination. (Well, the last part never happens to me, but maybe I’m in too many accidents for birds to want to take that chance and keep me company.) But you also have many awful days, like  we had a lot of this summer and will probably have this fall, days in which you start to feel like you should start building an ark in the back yard.

Biking in that kind of weather means screwing your eyes up against the rain, feeling your jeans soak through to your underwear, if you’re unlucky, and your shoes fill with water. It’s cold, and miserable, and distances you routinely cover in twenty minutes seem to take forever.

But, and that’s my point, it’s also exhilarating. It’s part of the Dutch national consciousness, fighting the elements on your bike and getting somewhere out of breath and cold and so happy to finally be there. It’s what makes you a biker – that you bike on not just the nice days, but also on the crappy ones. That you own weather gear to get you there semi-dry (if you choose to use it is another post altogether) and brave the wind and cold on your trusty bike.

At that point, you have earned the right to ride through the sunny days and have a robin alight. At least, if I had any say in it…

…it’s probably good that I don’t.

2 thoughts on “i wish someone would make a print out of that

  1. Anneke says:

    I was wondering exactly the same thing the offer day: why in a country where it rains so mich of the time is it normal to bike everywhere?! My dutch collegues didnt seem to understand my puzzlement, as ‘biking is part of the dutch culture’. Personally I dont feel that dutch-vibe and thus take public transportation when it rains.

    I especially enjoyed your comment on building an ark in the backyard, briljant!

    • These days, when I’m in Dortmund, it feels weird to look both ways while crossing the street in case a bike unexpectedly tries to kill me like they will here in the Netherlands, yet not see any bikes. I’ve been told they do bike, but apparently not in the areas I’ve been walking in! That should be interesting when I get a Fahrrad (look at me, going native) there. Out to terrorize the locals, I expect..

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