F is for Fiets

Fiets is Dutch for bike.  It’s pronounced “feets” which makes the word easy to remember since you make a bike go with your “feets”.   My fiets is on the front page of my blog.  It’s also my avatar on Ravelry.  So you could say that fietsen (plural fiets) are pretty important around here.  There are more bikes in the Netherlands than people.  You cannot go a day without seeing a bike.  It’s impossible.  The photo below is from Brian and you should really check out his page of photos taken in Amsterdam.  He’s an American who was just fascinated by the bike riders here.  I laughed out loud at some of his comments.  I see these things every day – no big deal – nothing to write home about.  But apparently I’ve just been here too long because it IS something that others want to write home about!

What Brian missed was taking photos of people biking in winter.  People wearing rain ponchos on a bike.  People trying to carry an umbrella while biking (stupid and dangerous if you ask me).  People with Gortex, rain pants, and boots biking in all weather (me).  Biking in the wind, that always seems to be against you.  Biking with your kids in the bakfiets now covered with the plastic rain top.  Biking is transportation, not recreation.  And speaking of rain, it’s been really cold and miserable here lately.  Yesterday it snowed really hard for about an hour.  None of it stuck to the ground – it wasn’t quite cold enough for that – but still!  It’s supposed to be Spring!  One day last week I was biking to work and stupidly forgot my rain pants.  I was almost to the office, just 4 minutes away, when the skies opened up and dropped buckets of wet all over me.  I arrived with wet jeans.  Do you know how awful it is to sit at your desk for 3 hours with wet jeans, waiting for them to dry on your cold legs?  Ugh.  The joys of biking….

I while ago, on my retired blogger blog, I wrote a bit about why tourists should NOT rent a bike when they visit Amsterdam.  I still stand by that statement.  They have no idea what they are doing and are causing havoc on the streets!   There’s enough havoc on the streets with aggressive Amsterdam bikers!

2 thoughts on “F is for Fiets

  1. Andy B March 23, 2008 / 17:42

    Alex, Nice post – very well done. It’s like we were given the same set of talking points and we both went at it and wrote similar posts. Yes, a pretty logical choice for F. I even hold the same opion about tourist on bikes. Stay off and stay out of the bike lanes.

  2. A. non. January 6, 2010 / 19:48

    As somebody who bikes in traffic in other cities that are much more car-oriented, I found that the bike traffic in Amsterdam made complete sense. The rules were clear: get where you’re going, communicate with body/bike language, and don’t crash into anyone!

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