I saw the bikes in Amsterdam
and it was absolutely unmemorable. The way people go on and on about it, one would think that I would remember it but I don’t. There were lots of other things to see there.
I was on a Destroyer in 1986 assigned to NATO’s Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT) and I got to see a lot of Europe. When we got to Amsterdam for a few days, I happened to be broke, so I avoided the tourists in the Red Light District (actually I avoided the tourists everywhere) and walked a lot. I was used to walking miles and miles so it was no big deal.
I walked past a “rowing club” and stopped to watch a crew set up. Seemed like one of their number didn’t show. After a while of waiting they shouted at me asking if I could row. I said yes and they asked me if I knew how to feather an oar. That’s all I needed to know.
So I saw Amsterdam from the canals. We went all over the City and saw lots of things that aren’t in the tour books. Maybe I should tell Rick Steves that Amsterdam by canal is the best way to see the city.
But bicycles? No more than I saw in most European cities at that time.