Windmill Fields: One step up in the bicycle world
Rosalind is an entrant in the 2012 “i am not a tourist” Expat Fair Blog Competition.
Bicycles are everything here in the Netherlands and I have blogged before about my antics, about how I was never cycling again when I first got here.
Well I have got used to it now, as most expats eventually do. My bike has become part of me, I would never dream of walking to the shops anymore, Why? when I can easily cycle, even in the ice, even if it is slippery and I have a 3 year old on the bike constantly giving me her voice of encouragement, " Don't fall mummy, Don't go boooom mummy" We fell once 2 years ago and she has never forgiven me for it.
But I have gone up in the bicycle world, I have advanced one more step, I now have a children's seat at the back. A notch up in this cycling lark.
Now if you have never cycled with a child on your bike you may not know what I mean but first you get a seat for the front, makes the steering slightly weird and you have to get used to it and then when your child is about 14 kilos, or like Funky Monkey, their knees get so far up to the handle bars that steering is near on impossible, it is time for an upgrade and you get a seat for the back.
A whole new experience! I can't see her anymore, which is bizarre and she finds it funny too as she keeps saying " Mummy turn your head and look at me", as she does so she precariously tilts us to one side as she happily leans over to see me, which results in me shouting, " No, we will fall" which then starts her off with the afore mentioned words, " Mummy don't fall"
It also stranger to maneouver the bike with a 14 ton (it feels like that anyway) child on the back. And sharp turns are more carefully carried out. I also learnt that I can't lift the front wheel up anymore to spin it round a corner when walking a) she is too heavy b) the bike tips up. Physics was never a strong point of mine.
So i am proud in this new advance of my biking skills, although I have a dilemma, I don't know where to put my handbag (or shopping for that matter)! When Funky Monkey was on the front I had carriers on the back but now the seat is there I cant have them. Dutchie took off the front seat ignoring my protests as to where am I going to put my handbag? His response was hang it on the handle bars or over my shoulder, great more weight to make me even more unstable than I already am!!
So I have sneakily put the front seat back on, he hasn't said anything and I have a place to put my handbag once more.
The moral to all this is buy a proper bike upon arriving in the Netherlands, what the Dutch call a moederfiets, a mummy bike, designed to carry 2 children, shopping, a cat, a dog, and any other random child, animal or object that you encounter on your cycles.
So there will be a part two to this adventure I am buying a new bike with the help of a great Dutch system called the Fiets woon werkverkeer regel at my work...........
For the moment if you see a slightly erratic cyclist with everything but the kitchen sink on her bike, just leave about 1m of distance around her and approach carefully, she is not responsible for her actions,
Some great bike pics.
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