Until I moved to the Netherlands riding a bike was a form of exercise, not necessarily a mode of transport – if that distinction makes sense. When I got back on a bike, then, it had been 10 years since I had been on a bike – it was an unnerving experience, but I survived. I have since mastered the art of cycling with at least one child on board – but have never, nor expect to master two kids, groceries and head wind. I remain a fair weather (a relative concept here), cyclist, and have no guilty qualms about resorting to the car if weather so dictates.
Recently though I have discovered another benefit of cycling – fair weather or not. It has been on my cycling – as mode of transport – that I have come up with the inspiration for my writing. Perhaps it is the headwind that blows the cobwebs away, or simply the fact that on a bike it is difficult (at least I think it is) to be distracted by anything other than one’s thoughts! After cycling here for a long time, paying attention to traffic etc etc is not a thought process, rather an instinctive reaction.
So, for those who have wondered what other attraction there is to cycling – besides getting somewhere quicker, albeit perhaps wetter, saving on parking fees and never having to worry about traffic jams – here is one more: you can actually be alone with your thoughts!
An ‘expat view’ on cycling :).