Culture Shock: Back from the Netherlands

I suspect that we’ll have plenty to write about our time in Europe, but I bike-commuted today and wow.  This also overlaps with a half-written post on why I’ve been avoiding the bike commute.  Anyways, stuff that stood out today:

  • Wearing a helmet – I would probably wear one anyway since I have to go down a hill and end up going fast, but otherwise this is annoying.  Or as our 6 year old put it: “It’s so much fun riding without a helmet”
  • Wearing an ankle strap – chain guards are standard over there and I haven’t bothered to add one yet
  • Cars are so big and fast
  • Gutter lanes are terrible
  • Downhills are cold
  • Ducking under a tree branch
  • Intersections require a lot of self-defense
  • 90+% of riders here are in spandex.  Exact opposite.
  • Uphills are annoying
  • Even the 520 trail is in pretty bad shape, though the worst spots have now been painted red

One word to describe riding in the Netherlands: pleasant.  One word to describe riding on the Eastside: fear.

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