Bikes along a canal in Amsterdam

How to Hit a Moving Car Whilst Biking in Amsterdam

In ALL, NETHERLANDS by Stephanie Klein1 Comment

No one wants to see your vacation photos. It’s true. Not unless they’re on the fence about where to travel next, and they’re considering a journey to a place you’ve just been. That or they have an upcoming trip to the exact places you’ve just been. My point: it needs to be relevant to the viewer.

Indecision kills productivity. I’ve decided to post a log of our recent journey to Paris, The Netherlands and Belgium, in a blow by blow daily account. No I haven’t. Perhaps it’s better to just post photos of each experience had. Or should the photos simply serve to accompany the daily stories of our trip? Do you see why it takes me until after a trip to post anything?

Besides, I never much care to read about anyone’s vacation. There’s nothing really enjoyable about seeing someone else’s vacation photos, or even hearing their stories, not unless something remarkable happened. Like on this trip, when my daughter was hit by a car.

“Hit” is a strong word. She was more accurately “tapped” by a moving car. Or maybe it was she who hit the moving car, all whilst riding her bicycle in Amsterdam. Holy hell that’s some serious business, bicycling in Amsterdam. She’s fine, by the way. She was mostly fine when it happened. I, understandably, was not.

“NO MORE FCUKING BIKE RIDING,” I might have said. I’ve blocked it out. “THIS IS NOT SAFE,” I said to Phil. I surely spoke in ALL-CAPS for the rest of the day.

It was our first full day in Amsterdam and we realized it was cheaper to buy them their own bikes than it was to rent them. So we bought them bikes and rented them helmets (I insisted on the protective gear, despite being told they didn’t need them). We practiced riding on side streets without many a passing car.

THE BIKE LANE in Amsterdam isn’t just for bicycles. Shit by shit, motorcycles–scooters, Vespas, really–share the same narrow lane as kids on bicycles. Bicycles, mind you, that don’t even have speed gears, with only back-pedal brakes. All types of bikes sharing one narrow lane beside cars and buses, with no dividers, just a painted line. You can be biking, sandwiched between whizzing cars and A CANAL, with no fencing. So if you lose your balance, you can fall into the canal or fall into traffic. It’s terrifying, especially when you have ten year olds. One of my ten year olds lost her balance and fell onto a moving car, which placed her on the ground, shocked and crying.

“WE’RE WALKING THE FCUKING BIKES HOME.”

….

“BUT FIRST WE’RE STOPPING FOR DRUGS FOR YOUR MOTHER.”

No wonder marijuana consumption is legal in Amsterdam.

Comments

  1. I was glad to hear that your kids had helmets, I don’t think I saw 1 person wearing a helmet,9in the video) so risky!!! That aside, what beautiful memories for you and your family, traveling to those wonderful, historic cities.

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