In my childhood I never owned a bike. Not many kids owned one in Malta. My cousin did have a bike which she lent me every now and then. So I learned to bike in a straight line but nothing else. I could not turn around without needing an area as wide as a football pitch.
So when I moved to Holland around 5 years ago I was faced with a problem. A twenty-something girl with no idea how to ride a bike having to start using a bike in the busy roads of Amsterdam! When I got my first bike I didn’t use it for ages. I think secretly I was hoping for it to be stolen, like most bikes in Amsterdam. Unluckily I had good locks and nothing happened to the bike. At some point I decided to teach myself bike riding. So I did; it took time and a couple of falls but now I can cycle a couple of kilometres without serious accidents.
I’m still not a proper Dutchie. The Dutch, while cycling, can answer calls, hold an umbrella while having a couple of kids and a dog on their own bike.
Hints of cycling in the city:
• Avoid tourists. No matter how much you ring your bell they will not move from the bike lane
• Be careful of wet tram lines
• Always carry wet proof clothes
• If you’re a beginner never answer your mobile phone while riding the bike
Since my last move over six months ago I didn’t have a bike. Last weekend we finally found a bike that I liked (and that also fit my height). There’s no more need for my boyfriend to piggyback me everywhere. Unluckily for me it’s time to make my own pedalling.
My Puch Limited Trendy purple bike:
[Image Credits: Bakfiets, Puch Limited Tendy]