Wednesday, June 18, 2008
MORE ON BIKES
OK. By now you may think that I am obsessing about bikes. I am. But you can't help it, they are everywhere. There are more bikes in this country than there are people. Many people don't own cars but only bikes. It is the number one form of transportion. But it's more than that. Coming from a country where bikes are only a hobby or sport, it's hard not to be amazed by what has been created here for bikes. Sure, we have "bike trails" in the US but here they have bike lanes EVERYWHERE! And the bike lanes even have their own traffic lights.
If you take your bike on the train (which they do charge extra for) or need to walk it across a bridge that has stairs, they have "bike rails" where you can put your tires into and walk your bike up or down the stairs.
Where we have parking lots, they have bike parking lots -- sometimes levels and levels of them like at the Amsterdam Centraal Train Station. Not that people always park in a parking lot; there's just not enough parking lots. People will leave their bikes anywhere but they always lock them. Bike theft is a big problem! Everytime we have left our bikes somewhere, I am surprisingly pleased that they are still there when we get back. Remembering where we park them is also a challenge. When I saw all those bikes, one of my first thoughts was, "How do you know which one is yours?" So far we have always managed to find them!