Since I can occasionally be a very accident prone person it might seem like an unwise idea for me to own a Fiets (bicycle) as a primary mode of transport. However, when I first moved to Holland it quickly became clear that I would require one in order to blend in with the locals who like to terrorise pedestrians and jump traffic lights at every given opportunity.
I did not have to look far for my two wheeled transport since my company was nice enough to give me one for free. However, they did not provide any training wheels or cycling lessons.
While riding my bicycle for the first time, I realized that the breaks were not situated on the handles where I was used to seeing them. This coursed a bit of a problem since one of the things you need to do quite often when riding a bicycle is stop. I soon discovered where the brakes were hidden when it was time to stop. By that I mean I discovered where they were after screaming, “Where are the brakes,” and crashing into a near by wall a few seconds later.
Afterwards, I was informed that to break all I had to do was push backwards on the pedals. This took a few attempts where I nearly launched myself over the handle bars before I was used to it.
I’m happy to say that I have not had any similar experiences while riding my bicycle since… until today.
As I cycled to the train station this morning along my usual rout I turned a corner to suddenly and unexpectedly be confronted with a street blocked by road works. I was already too close and peddling too fast to stop in time. I had no choice but to try and make it through to the other side.
I skilfully swerved to the left and avoided falling into the first pit. Then I daringly dodged to the right and just missed a collision with a road sign. Finally, I quickly jumped over the second pit and landed smoothly and safely on the other side. I looked back as my heart raced and I continued to peddle, amazed that I had made it through with such skill. It had been a spectacular display of daring stunts and acrobatics that would have made Evil Knievel jealous.
Then I looked back in the direction I was going, screamed like a girl and nearly decapitated by riding into the PVC tape barrier that was blocking the other end of the work site. Luckily the tape snapped before it catapulted me backwards off my bike and into one of the pits.
Maybe owning a bicycle is not such a good idea after all.