The Biking Capital of the World

posted in: Where's Waldo? | 2

Months before we left, Ella and I found the cutest airbnb we’ve ever seen in the Netherlands, thirty minutes from Amsterdam and right beside the sea and a little lighthouse.

So instead of staying in Amsterdam, we decided to stay in Egmond an Zee. Once we got there, we were so tired from the weeks before in Eastern Europe moving so quickly,

we decided to just relax and enjoy the area and leave Amsterdam for another trip.

Everyone in our little village either walked or rode a bike, with little to no car traffic.

We were steps from the beach and families playing, wrapped in snow clothes from the cold, but having a blast in the sand.

Extensive sand dunes were in the area with walking and bike paths everywhere.

We were amazed by the bikes everywhere, even stacked two stories tall at the train station! Chris and I went for day trip bike ride around the area and

Walden decided to look into it further below:

“In the Netherlands, it seems that the Dutch people have cycling in their DNA.

Everyone rides, young and old, everywhere they need to go…..within reason. A normal street in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is usually filled with bikes of every size, shape, and color. Most people think that the people just love to bike, but this form of transportation is really a planned out urban project, that’s funded by the government and run by the people.

Cycling became hugely popular in Amsterdam during the Nazi takeover of the city in World War II. During this time, Dutch citizens would ride bikes as a form of resistance or protest against the Nazi occupation. They ran red lights and rode haphazardly causing chaos for the soldiers. People refused to move aside when slowing down the huge Nazi vehicles,

and everyone was satisfied that they were hindering their common enemy.

Bike sales and usage soared during this time; but after the war in the 1970s, another vehicle took to the streets.

Cars became heavily popular during this time; and the large vehicles crowded up Amsterdam’s streets and squares making it hard, and even very dangerous, for cyclists to operate. In 1971 alone, 3,000 people died in bike accidents and 450 were children.

After the horrible death rates, the government knew they had to do something to help. So the government invested lots of money into cycling infrastructure in the following years.

Now there are over 400 kilometers of bike paths crossing the city, and an estimated half of all transportation in Amsterdam is carried out on bikes.

Cycling being popular in Amsterdam is an understatement.

Everyone rides from 3 year olds to 90 year olds, from police officers to even the mayor of the city himself.

Even the Netherlands king, King Willem-Alexander, enjoys cycling. Amsterdam has easily and deservedly gained the title, the Biking Capital of the World.

2 Responses

  1. Marcia R

    Love seeing all your posts. I think you made a wise decision to stay on the coast. Miss you!

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