No one can deny that the Dutch are skilled cyclists. It is a part of their everyday life so it is understandable that they are very good at it. It’s probably because of this that the Dutch are capable of displaying some every day cycling skills that seem completely insane to the rest of us. I’d like to talk about two of those crazy skills today.
Cycling With Their Hands in Their Pockets
Have you ever seen a Dutch person cycling with their hands in their pockets? It is not a rare sight. It’s all about Dutch confidence and a casual attitude towards gravity. Most of us would probably not be able to take our hands off the handle bars without instantly crashing into the nearest wall. However, the Dutch do it with ease and without incident. When it comes time to turn a corner they will simply take a single hand out of their pocket and casually make the required steering adjustment. If I tried that my hand would probably get stuck in my pocket and I’d sail straight into the canal directly in front of me.
Transporting Large/Awkward Objects
When faced with the challenge of moving a large awkward object from one location to another most of us would use a car or a van. Not the Dutch. They will happily grab all manner of cumbersome inanimate objects, strap them to their bike and simply start cycling. It does not matter how large or how awkward the object might be, to the Dutch the bicycle is a multipurpose transport vehicle.
Need to transport two bikes? No problem. Ride one, grab the other by the handlebars and pull it along with you.
Three crates of beer? Simple. Stack them on the back and use a single hand to steady them (just don’t drink too many of them first).
Six bags of shopping? Easy. Hang two off each handle bar, strap one to the back and cycle one handed with the last bag in your free hand. If you have saddle bags you can manage eight bags or more.
Three children? Childs play. Sit one on the handle bars, one on the back and sit the last one on your shoulders (crash helmets are optional).
Ikea furniture? Don’t even flat pack it. Just carry it one handed over your back and cycle harder. Wind resistance is not the boss of you.
Need to transport two bikes, three crates of beer, six to eight bags of shopping, three children and some Ikea furniture all at the same time? The Dutch will find a way.
I would not be surprised to see a Dutch person moving apartments using their bicycle alone. They probably would not be visible under the collection of house plants, lamp shades, bed sheets and moving boxes but they would still be upright and mobile.
What crazy displays of Dutch cycling skills have you seen? What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen a Dutch person carrying on their bike?
Check out more stories of my bike related stories in: Cycling In Holland