Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TIME OUT: Why bicycles are embraced in Holland

Fiets? Bicycles? Manual Two Wheels?  Yes, this is one of the first toys of Holland babies.  Everyone is taught how to cycle from very early age.  With the acquired skills from childhood, dutch learned to cycle with no hands, or carrying a bag of groceries with one hand and the other hand lying comfortably on the bicyle steerer or sending SMS while cycling without being hit or hitting.  Yes, they're the best bike exhibitionists.

It was a big step for me cycling on the road here as I've learned to pedal only during my quarter life crisis (~25 yrs).  A lot of my friends back in Singapore and Manila asked me, why use manual bicycles, don't you have cars there?

Haha...it's not that old-fashioned...of course they do...but I've seen the advantages of using bicycles here.  Join me in discovering...

1. Bicycle riders don't need driver's license so anybody can use it to reach their destination faster.  And bicycles have more rights than cars...meaning equal rights as pedestrians.  So you can let a big motorized vehicle wait at your back, while you pedal slowly at your own pace.  And if you get hit by a car, even if you don't follow traffic rules, it's their fault (ok i might be exaggerating a bit, but you get my point) :D.

2. The red pavements are the bicycle lanes.  The roads for bicycles are wider than for cars.  Now you can slowly see who's the boss here...

3. Car parking is so expensive!  For 1 day, you pay 15,80 euros (about 30 sgd)  from 9 am to 9 pm and this is a residential street so just imagine the parking fees near the offices or the town center.

And why bother paying if you can park like this?

4. Towns were not revamped to allow motorized cars to pass by.  In small streets like this, aren't bicycles practical?

5. Lastly, you can drink and drive :D (don't quote me on this)

Convinced why bicycles are embraced by the Dutch?  I do...

Nevertheless, some of them prefer....



  1. Haha! Heyyyy I can't cycle! After finding out that u picked it up at the age of 25, I think I better get started soon :P

  2. I can't cycle too! Hahaha.

  3. me three! I only started to TRY learning to cycle here in Perth when I first got here... and I was already close to 30 then... and then I got pregnant... so it's been postponed yet again! ha ha ha

  4. cycling is being embraced in Kyoto too.

    When I was in kyoto many of the locals cycle and they even have a few groups offering bicycle rentals and cycling tours as well.

    The only downside is the parking but i am rather amazed no one attempts to steal the bicycles or vandalize them, you will experience this in Singapore though =/.

  5. HI Charlene, yes, rent a bike in ECP, and get a patient instructor (a friend or boyfriend *wink*)

    Hi OysterDiaries, it's ok lah, you're still young, i learn it quite old...so still have enough time..but try to learn it, it's one of the survival skills

    HI Steph, yeah, we didn't grew up with bikes. You're lucky you were able to cycle at the age of 3. Is that the reason, why, now you're more into motorcycles? :D

    Hi Xinli, yes, it seems practical and as long as there are bike lanes, i think it's really a good idea. Here in Holland, you have to do a double lock when you park your bike. Stealing bikes is like a profession here, but as long as you're cautious, then it's ok, but i seldom see front wheels being stolen though...in SG, i always see bikes, without front wheels. :D

  6. love the photos!! =)
    they make me miss netherlands...

  7. Hey Kim, you're very welcome here in NL :)