Thursday, March 24, 2011

Biking to Work

amsterdam canal
Amsterdam bikes
Photo by stilefree
Like true Amsterdammers, I've now started to bike to work. I never did that back in London because frankly, I don't have a death wish. I used to bike to work in Portland, Oregon and also in Nottingham, but here in Amsterdam, biking is not only safe, but encouraged. When there's not a wide, purpose built bike lane, there's often a large portion of the road set aside for bikes. Of course, once I get to the incomparable Vondelpark, this already easy commute gets even easier.

I was taking the tram to work and that was taking about 25 minutes, but this saves an extra 10 minutes of time (and that was taking it easy!). And drivers don't get upset at bikers, but tack in the US, people would often scream at me while I was biking to work. And I don't want to hear any bullshit about "bikers breaking driving laws". Not only did I scrupulously follow the laws, but car drivers ignore driving laws all them time; they're just not inconveniencing impatient drivers as much when they do.

Photo by Olivier Bruchez
So far, the only city I've seen which was this bike obsessed was Copenhagen. I've been to that gorgeous city a couple of times and many bikes in Copenhagen simply had a rear wheel lock or no lock at all. Relative to the US, there's not much crime here in Amsterdam, but there's a lot of bike theft. Seems there's not even a lot of that in Copenhagen.