Mar 28, 2010


Let's see... what are the Netherlands famous for:

Gouda cheese
Delft pottery
Coffee Shops
Frisian Cows
Raw herrings with onions
Street Organs
and Cycling !

Bicycles! Which (with or without child's seats front and back) seem to be doing wonderfully well in the export market. This time to the Emerald Isle!

This should please the 'EU Greens'. And maybe earn us clog dancers a little dispensation for the ammonia fog from our cows(?) and not to forget the ungodly whiff (something like a mixture of rotting gardinias and landfill) from our coffee shops? No wait - the windmills largely waft that away...

That just leaves the cheese then - but Gouda is rather mild, so no real bother there. And after a few old Genevers (gins), you usually end up reeling off into one of the canals anyway - and don't give a hoot about industrial aromas, one way or the other.
(That's where the Euthanasia bit comes in: I.E. they feed you vast quantaties of gin and joints after sunset - and then rent you a bike)!

There are a lot of bikes in Dutch canals.. But generally speaking, cycling is very good for you - although I haven't attempted it since I got knocked off mine by a car in 1999 and broke my hand.
But cycling is also apparantly good for the environment as well. I mean how can it not be? Unless the 'aroma' from your panting breath after eating a few raw herrings and onions can be counted as pollution.....?

So go to it Ireland! And if you end up with broken bones in a ditch somewhere, we have tulips to brighten the eye and more genever to cheer you up...!



jay said...

There were one or two things on that list I hadn't associated with the Netherlands. I think everyone knows about the cycling, though I'm kind of surprised that so many end up in the dykes. On the other hand, add in the gin ... !

So you're exporting to Ireland? Excellent! I think we've lost a lot of our cycle industry here in the UK, so maybe that's one reason - and of course, if anyone knows about making cycles, it would be the Dutch!

Martin said...

I would need a LOT of coaxing to bring my bike to Dublin!

Or any other Irish town for that matter.

Taking your life in your bicycle clips so you are!

Geri Atric said...

Jay ~ Hi, bikes falling off dikes! Yes the local councils send out the dredges once or twice a year, to haul up all the rubbish people throw into the town canals - and it doesn't take long before they are piled high with bicycles!

It's not hard to enjoy cycling in the Neths., with it being completely flat (!) Not like UK with all those hills. (I guess that's a valid excuse for not wanting to do it!?)

Xbox ~ Hello! Welcome to AU.

Oh dear, that doesn't bode well for Irish rent-a-bike! Strange how some motorists see a cyclist and get this red mist before their eyes...

Will you be giving it a go over here, with your own baby girl up front? (I'll be watching out on Xbox for that photo)!

Catherine said...

I went Dutch years ago when I married one. And he loves cycling - on a road racer, not a high nelly. I love cycling but it's a bit hazardous in Ireland.
Just found your blog so I will read it in more detail when it's not so late. Have a look at mine if you wish, follow if you like and thanks for dropping by in advance!

Geri Atric said...

Hello Catherine ~ Welcome to AU!

I sometimes think the Dutch have turned cycling into an art form. Especially the mums with children sitting front and back. (Only ever tried that once with my own kroost)i.e.: *Serious Wobbling*!!

Thank you for the invite to your own blog.I look forward to popping in very soon.


Grannymar said...

I was never much of bicycle fan and would certainly not attempt it in towns and cities in Ireland. A country road maybe..... someday!

Geri Atric said...

Grannymar ~ I'm beginning to worry about those Irish city roads! They are sounding more and more like (cyclist) death traps with every new comment! Perhaps rent-a-bike should reconsider(?)

But you might be on to something with that country road idea! How does a tandam sound? Just you and one of your hunky t.b's on a lovely summer's day; with a picnic strapped to the back; peddling idly along together, without a care in the world... sheer bliss!

jay said...

"It's not hard to enjoy cycling in the Neths., with it being completely flat (!) Not like UK with all those hills. (I guess that's a valid excuse for not wanting to do it!?)"

That and the traffic! You take your life into your hands cycling on the roads these days!

Geri Atric said...

Hi Jay ~ Yes indeed - a fair point.

Also and for the most part, purpose built bicycle paths, running alongside every major road - and practically every minor one - here in the Neths., takes a lot of pressure off both cyclist and motorist. Although crossing points, either with or without special cyclist traffic lights, will always demand extra alertness from both parties. Unfortunately cyclists often run the red light over here.... But the 'blind corner' in the driving mirror, of motorists turning right, also often leads to tragic accidents, with them not detecting cyclists pedding straight on along the bicycle path next to them! (WHAM!!)

Kate said...

I think my cycling days are done too Geri - its difficult enough to walk up the hill where I live!!! Maybe some clogs would help or possibly more gin?

Geri Atric said...

Kate ~ No, I definately don't advise trying to cycle up a hill! Fortunately there is a distinct lack of said hills throughout most of the Neths., which means that people keep cycling well into their old age. I was often overtaken by strong, muscle- thighed old folk, when I first came over here (in my early twenties)! *Blush of shame*.
Clogs on the other hand... well only if worn with 'dikke gietenwol sokken' (thick goat's hair socks!), otherwise it's: Ow! Ow! Ow! all the way home.
Gin sounds the best option, except that speaking from (past) experience, when taken as the dutch take it - in small glasses tipped down all at once one after the other - you do tend to lurch off to the side of the road (ditches!), instead of straight on. If I were you, I'd save the gin for when you finally arrive at the top of the hill, for 'recovery' purposes only of course.

Or maybe you could ask your council to place handrails a yard or two apart all the way up/down the hill?! I have actually seen them on some hills in Derbyshire (where I am originally from).