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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Dutch cyclists

Someone said that the Dutch people are the nicest people in the world until you set foot on their bicycle lanes!!! Then they go crazy!!! And that statement rings true!  Don't mind the pun.

image credit - Dennis Callan

I unwittingly stepped onto a brown lane when I got off a bus in Amsterdam and a gray-haired granny on a bicycle who almost bowled me over rang her bell furiously and yelled, "Kanker op tyfus toeriste (cancer on typhoid tourist) !" in my face.

I learned fast that those reddish-brown paths are bike paths, NOT sidewalks and the most important Dutch sound you need to know is TRING, a warning rung by Dutch cyclists. When you hear it, you should clear out of their paths … pronto!  A Dutchie on a bike doesn't stop!

Tring = "excuse me"

Tring Tring = "Seriously, I'm coming through"

 A bunch of Trings =  "F@#k you!" or "Cancer on typhoid tourist!"

Oh, I also learned that Dutch people often swear with diseases!

In a country where there are more bicycles than people or cars, Dutch cyclists rule and have the right of way in most situations. They yield to no one and have zero tolerance for pedestrians especially tourists. A friend who recently visited The Netherlands said she was almost run over by a lady cyclist with a wheelbarrow (bakfiets) full of kids!

Amsterdammers of all ages, income groups and descriptions go to work, to school, to the grocer's, to the bank, to a party, to a wedding, etc on their bicycles. And they don't wear helmets! It makes sense 'cos that would totally mess up your hair!

I saw a lady cycling with one kid behind her on the bike, one kid in front, grocery bags dangling from the handlebars and a dog in the front basket! And she was holding an umbrella!

Women in tight dresses and high heels, suited men on their cellphones, Dutchies texting and taking selfies, walking their dogs, carrying bulky objects (from large musical instruments to furniture!)...... Dutch cyclists have pretty fancy biking skills!

image credit - lowlandslinda

On the way to a wedding...
image source -
Who needs a van when you have a bakfiets!
image source - bakfiets en meer
image source -

Now, where did I park my bike!?

So stay away from their bike paths of death and listen carefully for those angry bicycle bells lest you be yelled at with different diseases!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy


  1. Such a delightful read, Veronica! I enjoyed all the pictures too that you shared! Can you imagine moving a couch while riding a bike? As I mentioned before, my sister and her family lived in the Netherlands for 2 years for her husband's work. I do remember that she said they all got around riding bikes, which was a feat for her since she hadn't been on a bike for a few years (but like the saying says, it does come back to you with bike riding; once learned, always remembered). I love how they cuss using various diseases.


  2. Amazing!! Such a shame that more people here in America do not cycle...
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. O, die mevrouw zou haar mond moeten wassen met zeep. Ik schaam me plaatsvervangend.

    Oh, that lady should wash her mouth with soap. I'm ashamed of her.

    Everyone cycles here, yes. And we have many rights. But it is forbidden to use our mobile since a few months. This afternoon I cycled through the rain for fifteen minutes. That was not so nice. So cold. Brrr....

  4. Wow, they are serious about their bikes!! I wish we had a bike path here. I used to love to ride my bike for exercise/fun. It has been ages since I've taken it out of the garage.

  5. I thought I love my bike, but now I am not so sure ;-) I didn't go as far as on your photos, but ... I am not Dutch :))) Lovely to read and great photo to picture it :)

  6. Well, there's one thing I learned about the Dutch from your post! I never could have imagined their curses to be so abominable!
    On the other hand I admire them for biking everywhere!

  7. Loved this post and the pictures. You really captured some very interesting scenes--moving furniture, the bride, the kiddies being taken for a ride. But the behavior of that old lady with the foul mouth was quite unacceptable.

  8. That’s funny! I took about a million bicycle pictures when we were in Amsterdam. Didn’t have any problems, guess we were lucky or careful. Those bicycle parking lots by the train stations are insane...nobody locks them....I reckon they just take one if they can’t find their own when they get back!

  9. I loved this and made me laugh too great photos and examples heheh!

    Have a cycletastic week :-)

  10. You made me smile and that is a great way to start the day - hope your face didn't get a disease!

  11. I have never been to Amsterdam, but would really love to, so I shall bear this in mind. I'd actually like to hire a bike an cycle myself, but having seen the bike park, I know I'd never find the darned thing again; I have enough trouble remembering where I've parked my car x


  12. What a fun post Veronica! I enjoyed the video and photos so much. People bike in Finland a lot, but not to that extent as in the Netherlands. Here you have to watch on biking lanes also, because some ride very fast and are furious. Isn't it an odd thing to swear with diseases! :))

  13. ...what a fascinating post. Here in New York State, you often risk your life riding a bike. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your week.

  14. That's crazy how they will practically ride over people! Great that they do commute that way.

    I thought it was funny that they swear with diseases. When I went to grad school I had a friend from Taiwan. A guy grabbed her butt at a bar we were at. She turned around and only held down her middle finger. I asked what she was doing? She said it meant that he had no penis. Here in the US you put your middle finger up, basically to say "FU". I think her middle finger down makes more sense, when I think about it.

  15. OH MY GOSH!!! I couldn't stop laughing... you're too funny, but the pictures and the video even my husband stopped and watched. WOW Now that is surely a different way of life, isn't it? Dang! Well, my sista from another mutha sending big hugs to you and thank you for stopping by and sharing such wonderful pictures. It almost made me feel like we were there together! Oh my, wouldn't that be FUN!!!!! BIG HUGS & HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!

  16. The things I learn on the internet! I have never seen bikes with such big baskets! I will stay out of their way if I ever get to that part of the world :)

    I appreciate your link on 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

  17. What an interesting post, Veronica! I was so bemused by it that I had to share it with my facebook friends too! What's with the Dutch swearing with diseases and all? The pictures were truly unique and so refreshingly different from what I've ever seen from anyone visiting Netherland. Thank you for sharing your pictures and that wonderful writeup as well. So glad to see you link up with us this week. happy Wednesday and a wonderful rest of the week to you.

  18. That is crazy and pretty fun too! Those are great pictures! Never knew that about the dutch!

  19. Yes, they are rude here too. They think they own the road and they don't care if they are in your way. Not a fan, but enjoyed your post.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

  20. Dear Veronica,

    What a delightful post and so very lovely to have you link up with us. I am so bemused by these details. Never knew Dutch cyclists were so impatient and they swear with disease names!! That's hilarious indeed. And really they go for their wedding on a bicycle!! How fascinating.

    The visuals are a treat to the eyes, Veronica. Love your post and I have to share it far and wide. :)

    Have a delicious week!

  21. Veronica! I just have to go! It's all so enchanting, and now I must dig into your beautiful blog and experience the richness of your travels and storytelling. You're delightful. xox

  22. I wonder what rituals they have for cycling in other countries! Love the bell ringing language! Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

  23. I have heard that about the cyclists too. Some of these pictures are hilarious, especially the one with the couch!

  24. This makes me laugh, because I am Dutch:):) Have never sworn, especially not with diseases, because the bell should say enough!
    Have to say though Amsterdam would be the worst place to start transporting yourself, using a bike:) Amsterdammers are pretty aggressive:) Love the wedding on the bike and the bakfiets- goodness, where does she park the thing??
    Anyways, a fun article, that pretty close to the truth:) Jesh

  25. Dearest Veronica,
    Guess those words are typical for the Amsterdam region!
    Never heard them in Limburg, where I hail from.
    My last visit I have thought often that in traffic, driving a car, most Americans would not make it due to the many bike lanes and giving yield to bikers on a round–about and so on. Yes, the different color pavement is a good sign!