Biking in Amsterdam
Nearly everyone in Amsterdam rides a bike, but no one sweats.
As a sweaty guy and long-time cyclist in Vancouver, Canada, I was surprised by the Amsterdamian bike culture.
The Amsterdammers ride these monstrously heavy, black one speeds that look like they haven't changed since the 1950s.
Men in ties and jackets happily cycle along without looking the least bit uncomfortable. Women in high heels and skirts elegantly pedal their two-wheelers along the high streets heading to the office or hauling a boxful of Amsterdarlings to the nursery.
People blissfully ignore the traffic signals while trundling along with their best friend on the handle-bars or their girl-friend balanced on the rear rack.
Cycling is like playing the cello - something that makes the buffest guy look kind of dorky and woman hot. Even more so with the Dutch. In the interests of appeasing the fashion Gods no one wear a helmet.
The bike tour leader poohed-poohed my crazy Canadian cautions about the need for water bottles or even an air-pump on a day long group tour to the country side.
Although the country is flat, you get a heck of a work-out peddling against the wind. I wish I brought my mountain-bike!
All in all I had a great time and got to experience a whole different attitude to cycling.