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.

1 reply
  1. Keri
    Keri says:

    I believe Amsterdam has greatly increased bicycle mode share since 1986.

    Unfortunately, many of these European models have done it at the expense of speed and convenience for cyclists. By segregating cyclists from the more efficient travel lanes, they’ve made cycling much slower. A crash study from Copenhagen showed a significant increase in crashes with autos at intersections, as well as crashes between bicycles and crashes with pedestrians (disembarking bus passengers have to cross the cycle tracks – increase in injuries to them: over 1,700%!).

    Ed Wagner wrote a good article on this at Cycledog last January.

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