We spent 7 great days in the Netherlands, a country with more bikes than people. Ya gotta love that. The trip was a graduation gift for my two sons who both graduated on the same day at the same university.
The trip started with us making our way up the narrow, steep flight of stairs to our apartment in Leiden. Leiden is a great place to be in July. The temperature never got over 82 degrees with no humidity of which to speak. And at night it always dropped into the 60s.
I thought I was prepared to be in a "biking culture". But I found myself stunned at the sheer number of people riding bicycles. Young, old, business suits, casual wear - you name it. Everyone was riding. There are two photos in particular I like. The first is the delivery bike for a Domino's Pizza shop. My youngest son and I had a laugh that we'd fly over 3000 miles and still not be able to get away from Domino's Pizza. The second is a red bike decked out with flowers. My oldest son and I were dreaming out loud about how we could find a way to live in Leiden during summer months. I suggested we start a bicycle customization shop. He said he didn't think anyone would bother customizing the bikes we saw. The red bike was an eye opener for him.
The other photos I've included are just a few of the places that caught my fancy. All of them from less than 2 miles from the apartment.
We did take the train into Amsterdam twice. A great city. And that's they key word "city". Many of the same characteristics we experienced in Leiden are evident. There are just more people going more places more quickly. All in all it was a great holiday and has given me pause to consider how automobile dependent the U.S. culture really is.