Commuting via bike

So one of the things we have really taken to since moving to Holland is bike riding. I love the bike culture in Holland and it is our primary mode of transport to get around town. We have a car but we would be lucky to drive it once a week. 

Now when I moved to Holland I was reasonably fit. I used to run every morning. Since moving I have not managed much exercise other than to get on the bike to get where I am going. My daily commute to work was to ride to and from the station and I would catch the bus to the office. 

So in an effort to further embrace the Dutch bike culture and use my time efficiently to get some exercise I have started to ride to work. I bought myself a very affordable startup road bike kit and now several days a week I ride the 17km into the office and home again. 

The new kit

I am really enjoying it. I would never ride in Sydney as I would have to ride on the road in traffic and it is just far too dangerous. Here in Holland the ride from our house to the office is close to 99% bike path. Of that at least 80% of that is bike path through ‘country side’ and well away from the main roads. I regularly pass cows and sheep that just wander around the path. 

The scenery is actually really nice and this coupled with the exercise makes me feel better when I start and end my day on the bike. You will see at the end of the BLOG some of the snapshots taken from the bike. 

Tree lined stretch of bike path near Hoofddorp with only one other bike. 

I had always looked at the weekend bike set in Sydney as middle aged men in lycra with just another expensive toy to play with. I would never do that!

I had shared my experience of riding to work with one of our new friends who rides a similar distance to work each day and he quickly setup a weekend ride for us. Last Sunday we rode through the Zandvoort dunes as the sun rose and watched Rabbits (yes we have plenty of those in Sydney too) but also Deer running across the bike path. It was a great trip with some great scenery and again at the end of it I feel good for having been out in the fresh air. 

Leisurely Sunday morning with the ‘guys’. 

I am now hoping to get enough riding under my belt before it gets too cold and slippery. With any luck I have found a great way to get to work that is beneficial to my health, good for my bank balance and also good for the environment. It is hard now to imagine a community that doesn’t embrace the bike culture like the Dutch. 

Before moving to Holland my drive to work was anywhere from an hour to two hours each way. This is such a big change. Riding a bike for 40 minutes each way is so much nicer.

Cows sharing the bike path.
Open space looking back towards Haarlem

Vijfhuizen

Old bunker near Vijfhuizen that is now a Restaurant

2 thoughts on “Commuting via bike

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  1. It's so true. I'm inspired to get back on my bike at home after my quick visit to you guys. I was talking to my mum about it last week as well (as you know she's just been to the Netherlands and on a bike as well) about why it's not the same here. I can't put my finger on it there are so many factors but without a doubt it just makes for a totally fab lifestyle. xx

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