Tweewieler, Tweewieler, Tweewieler! (Bicycles, Bicycles, Bicycles!)

Bicycles!Bicycles (Tweewieler) are everywhere in Amsterdam. Bicycling here is a way of life. Workout attire is not the norm – it is not uncommon to see men wearing suits and women wearing skirts or dresses while bicycling. Bicycle baskets hold fresh fruit, vegetables, baguettes – or whatever necessities one requires for the day. Sometimes tiny dogs travel in style in a bicycle basket. Children sit on the “baggage carrier” or in customized wheelbarrow-like adaptations.

For visitors, bicycle traffic congestion can be overwhelming. However, a closer look reveals that accidents are few and urban planners and the Dutch maintain that everything “just works”. Here is a glimpse of bicycling in action in Amsterdam.

Just how many bikes are we talking about? Over a million! Unfortunately, many end up submerged in the canals. As the saying here goes: The canals are made up of 2/3 water and 1/3 bicycles. In actuality, between 12,000 and 15,000 bicycles are fished out of the canals annually. Here it is easy to see why so many bicycles end up in Amsterdam’s canals and one man’s salvage of a bystander’s bike.  Additionally, check out this video for an overview of  bicycle removal from the canals via the Amsterdam Water Authority.

 Do you bike? After watching the videos, do you think you could adapt to the Dutch way of biking?

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