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!


betty said...

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.


Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

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

Aritha said...

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....

Mellie said...

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.

Lalka Crochetka said...

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 :)

Maya Kuzman said...

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!

Great-Granny Grandma said...

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.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

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!