Riding Bikes in Amsterdam

amsterdam feature

When I sent out a note on Facebook asking what people recommended for Amsterdam, almost everyone responded that you had to rent a bike to ride around town.  We were lucky enough that the flat we rented came with two bikes.  So our plan was to take the bikes to the Jordaan district and wander the famous canals of Amsterdam.  That was the plan…

You know how people say, “It’s like riding a bike” and imply that you can pick anything up easily for a second time.  Yeah, not so much for me.  Apparently, I learned to ride a bike differently than Jon, who rode like a pro within seconds.  Not me!  I was white knuckled and wobbling all over the place.   But I could tell in Jon’s eyes how much he wanted to take a bike instead of walking or taking a tram around city center.  So I gathered up my courage and went for it.  Once I got going it was not bad, it was the stopping and starting that was a nightmare.  I would like to blame it on the fact that when I stopped, I could not stay on the bike seat with my feet touching the ground at the same time.  When I stopped I had to slide off the seat to touch the ground.  The same was true in reverse, I could not sit on the seat to start pedaling, well that was a bit of a challenge for me.  Then add in bike traffic, with ten bikes all around you at a light and I was more than anxious.  Jon on the other hand was behind me laughing the entire time, shocked that he never knew his wife couldn’t ride a bike…well I could about 20 years ago!

After about a 5-8 minute ride into town we came to a red light.  This bike didn’t have hand brakes so I had to remember to brake backwards with my pedals.  For balance Jon told me to hold onto the light pole at the intersection.  Well the bike apparently wasn’t completely stopped and came out from underneath me.  So I was hanging on the pole and reaching for the bike with my other arm to keep it from going into traffic.  Needless to say, I was done at that point and seriously considering drinking hard alcohol for the first time in years and it was only about 10 AM!!!

Luckily, the rest of the day was enjoyable wandering the canals and Dam square, on foot!

canals

 

jjamserdam

We also enjoyed savory pancakes for lunch, a typical food of Amsterdam.  The pancakes are cross between a US pancake and a French crepe, very delicious!

Pancake with spinach, brie and cashews, yum!

Pancake with spinach, brie and cashews, yum!

By the way I did have to get the bike back to the flat and was successful.  Thank God, I had green lights all the way, which made the experience much safer for me and everyone around me!  And the pellets of rain didn’t start falling until the last few seconds, very thankful for that!

 

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