Posted by: Corri van de Stege | September 8, 2007

Cycling

In the weekends I take my bike out, leave the car where it is.  Free, my own space, just my legs moving me to where I want to go.  I love my bike, it’s got twenty-one gears, it was brought over by my sister from Holland, her second hand but a star for me, I’ll only use it for spins around villages and some local shopping.

I zig-zag around cars in the busy market town, where tomorrow another episode of  Kingdom will be filmed, one of the last ones. Yes this little market town has become famous with Stephen Fry appearing in the town called Market Shipborough.  It’s perked itself up, feeling more important, local pubs advertise themselves as being located in Market Shipborough, open sport cars have appeared, with people using the setting for their quaint hobbies, but I ignore them: Point my arm at the turn off, warning the traffic behind me. Be aware!  I am king of the road today.

I remember the daily trips to school, in the Netherlands.  Secondary schools in the provincial town, some twelve kilometres away.  Cycling along the main road, with proper cycle paths each side, and then the river, windy and exposed.  And always the wind direction managed to change from having wind against in the morning to wind against in the afternoon on the way back home. Never fail, expected.  Liberating however. Hail, wind, snow, sleet, rain… and sometimes sunshine and summer heat.  A snake of cyclists, children, teenagers, young adults.  From villages around, joining up and like birds the two at the front trekking the line behind, taking it in turn to take the full power of the wind. 

Such a long time ago.
I still love cycling.

  

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Responses

  1. Yes. That was one of the aspects of life in Holland that I love: cycling. It is perfectly organised, pity that the rest of the Europe that I know, including the Spanish Peninsula, does not follow suit. Much pollution would be avoided.

  2. I can’t remember if it was in Amsterdam or Copenhagen (could be both) where you can use share-bikes. Just park them at the designated locations and the next person can use it.

    I wish I can ride the bike so freely as you do in the countryside. The city encourages people to ride a bike to work; but that you wish to zig-zag through the more-than-ever aggressive drivers who won’t even yield to the pedestrians and to negotiate through the hills make it difficult to ride for leisure.

  3. Jose, yes it is so well organised in particular with the cycling paths, the trouble with the rest of Europe is that you take your life in your hands using a bycicle as transport!

    Matt: exactly as you say, it’s dangerous and therefore less enjoyable, I can fully indulge where I live because it is quite rural outside of the major routes.

    Pity isn’t it? It such great fun AND so much better environmentally…


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