Me + Bicycles Don’t Mix

You’d probably think I’d be decent on a bicycle. I grew up in Minnesota. I spent the summer I was 15 biking to and from my glamorous job at Taco John’s…and I lived outside of the city limits.

However, I gave up biking when I moved to Minneapolis. Strange, you may say. Isn’t Minneapolis one of the most bike-able cities in the United States? Yes, yes it is. Which means: THERE ARE TOO MANY DAMN BIKES THERE.

So, terrified of crashing into one of the million other students on bikes, I traded in my bike for cute, yet walkable, shoes.

I’ve been walking ever since.

Flash forward to Amsterdam…one of the most bike-able cities in the world. You’d have thought that I learned my lesson in Minneapolis, but no. What did I want to do in Amsterdam? Go on a bike ride. Apparently I’m a slow learner.

And I didn’t want to just bike around the city. I wanted to bike out to the windmills. And I didn’t want to do it alone: I dragged Chandler and his brother with me.

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Did we end up regretting this decision? Yes, yes we did. I won’t list all of the reasons why biking in the Netherlands isn’t for me (we’d be here all day), but I will give you some of the highlights:

Reason #1: It took me all of about 10 minutes to hit a curb and come crashing down…I never was good at curb jumping.

Reason #2: Do you want to know why people built those windmills in that location? IT IS WINDY. Unreasonably so. There were moments I was pretty sure it’d be faster to walk than to bike.

Reason #3: Scott is the slowest bike rider in the history of bike riding. I’m serious.

Reason #4: The only scenic parts are the parts they bus you out to…the scenery on the actual bike ride is fairly mundane.

But, if forced to find a silver lining, I can actually find two:

The majority of the trip smelled like chocolate. Apparently there’s a cocoa factory nearby and I can’t tell you how much better it smelled than Accra.

When we finally did get to those windmills, we got some pretty great pictures:

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So, while I wouldn’t exactly recommend this part of our trip, it did make for a memorable day. We had a lot of those in Amsterdam. It has quickly become one of my favorite cities. But more on that next time…

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