What does it mean to cycle the Dutch way? If this is about laid-back cycling, is this adapted to Londoners and their busy life? Find out more in this surprising and funny article.
Tip 3. SAVE TIME (AND MONEY) CYCLING THE DUTCH WAY
Are some Londoners too much in a hurry for the Dutch way of cycling? No time for a relaxed and social attitude? Well, cycling the Dutch way is actually exactly how busy people can save time. Surprising, huh? Here is photographic report of two cyclists going to work cycling to illustrate some differences. Pay attention to the time, and the money, that they spend. It is not for no reason that Dutch people are famous for being greedy.
1. To buy an expensive or a cheap bike?
Most Dutch people use and park their bike outside everywhere they go (work, friends, school, shops, bars, festivals, you name it), so they prefer to invest in a low-cost – but still comfortable – bike that will not attract any thief and will not ruined in any rain. They follow the Dutch rule that your locks must be more expensive than your bike. The lock used is important, Dutch insurers will only insure your bike if you use approved locks.
2. To dress up or to be ‘normaal’?
Have you ever heard the Dutch saying “ Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg!” ? This literally translates into ”Just act normal, then you’re acting crazy enough as it is!”. When do they say that, in their famous direct way? When they come across show-offs and people who brag about how much money they’re worth! What about being down-to-earth while cycling as well? No extras needed, no large expenses needed. Less is more.
3. To keep the bike inside or outside?
So why go through the painful process of carrying bikes through lifts, doors and stairs when bikes can stay outside? Because our bike is too expensive or fragile to stay outside? It might not be the right bike for daily activities then. Dutch people use their bikes to do EVERYTHING and go EVERYWHERE. There is no space for them to bring their bikes inside shops, schools, bars, etc. As strong and heavy-duty bikes that last long are often preferred, they’re heavy to carry around, especially for kids and elders. Can you imagine small kids and elders that would need to carry their bikes through the typical narrow and steep Dutch stairs? The purpose is that EVERYONE is able to easy cycle.
4. To race or to stroll?
Why trying to race as there are so many things stopping us all the time in a city context? Think of traffic lights, pedestrians, buses, etc. Are we truly going faster if we race, stop, race, stop and so on? Besides getting unnecessarily sweaty and stressed, we’re becoming public dangers to other road users that have no time to see us arriving. (Enjoy the ‘bullet’ banner at the top of this page.) In the Netherlands, a fluid way of cycling is preferred to a pushy cycling attitude. Again, a city is no cycle racetrack with fences to protect us from unexpected happenings.
5. To bring or to leave dirt (from) outside?
Well, Dutch bicycles are robust, made to last and go through all kind of weathers. They are usually rather heavy and dirty because they’re used all the time under whatever condition, even when it snows. Basically, a “fiets” (bike in Dutch) is just like a car. That’s a vehicle for the outdoors that needs to stay outside. Would we bring our car or motorbike in our office?
6. To be slow or to be efficient?
Dutch people cycle to do literally EVERYTHING, their groceries, visit their friends, go out, go to their sports club or bring their children to school. This can mean they do up to ten small journeys each day, and sometimes more. So, in the Netherlands, cyclists do not wear any special outfit to cycle. It would be really too time-consuming and unpractical to dress and undress ten times a day! Cycling in a relaxed way prevent you from sweating; and having proper bike accessories such as mudguards prevent you from getting dirty. An interesting subject for a next article!
Are you ready for a transition?
Tell us more about your experience of cycling the Dutch way in London!
(Remember this is a satirical website about serious cycling stuff)