Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kids just wanna ride bikes....

You would think so?!
Especially if you are the child of 2 NATIVE DUTCH parents... right??

Well, NO!

Not in our case! A typical case of nature vs nurturing??

Our girls are 8 and until this day, they didn't want to ride a bike!! When we told them last April that we were planning to buy some bikes for their Bday, they started CRYING!! REALLY!! So we bought them some BOOKS instead... and they were totally over the moon!!

But the summer is starting here, and this weekend we decided when we saw this AWESOME deal on 2 cute bikes, that NOW is the TIME!!

And guess what?? The girls LIKE it!! Suddenly they want to learn to ride a bike!! (I probably know why, they see more and more kids riding their bikes... )

So here they are trying to hold balance... riding one way... walking back the other way! LOL
Because it goes down a bit and riding up the hill is not easy.... (you have to really look to see that hill, but OK in their minds... it is a hill) And I am the last one negotiating now with them on this point... if they want to walk back.. they WALK back!



So this week, our project is to bike every day after school a bit, hoping that at the end of the week, the girls are RIDING their bikes UP and DOWN the street! I see already some huge progress on the second day!

YEAH!! These DUTCH parents who are practically BORN on a bike are HAPPY for this new milestone!!



Did you know that?

- 95% of Dutch kids bike to school every day!
- A bicycle is a transportation mode for the whole family!
- Americans use their bicycles for less than one percent of all urban trips. Europeans bike in cities a lot more often—
in Italy 5 percent of all trips are on bicycle, 30 percent in the Netherlands, and seven out of eight Dutch people over age 15
have a bike.
- There are 16 million bicycles in the Netherlands, which equates to about one for every inhabitant.
- Dutch people don't just use their bikes for fun - cycling is an important way of travelling, from doing the daily shopping to
going to work or school.
- The Netherlands is the perfect place to spend a cycling vacation. Its flat as a pancake, with a mild climate and has many
bicycle paths. The distances from one town to another are never great.
- The bicycle is always at hand in Holland. Individuals who find themselves without a bike, Dutch and tourists alike, can rent
them by the hour, day, week, or even longer. They can be hired at most train stations, or bicycle shops.
- Because so many people cycle, the Netherlands has special traffic lanes, rules and road signs to improve safety for bikes.
There are over 17,000 km of cycle lanes, indicated by round blue signs with a white bicycle on them. In cities these lanes even
have special bicycle traffic lights!

In the Netherlands with rain, sleet or snow, people still go on their bikes to work in full suit, wooden shoes or with computer bag!



In the Netherlands the bike is a family vehicle, young and old... you don't believe me... look at these pictures!



We even have space for the dog! Parking garages for bikes and navigation systems on it...



Now you understand why we are so THRILLED that the girls finally start a liking to biking... we could never move back to HOLLAND if the girls don't know how to bike! We want to go on Sundays and go biking, but till now we never did... soon!

PS: We started off wearing helmets, knee and elbow protecters but it hindered them.... since they are still going so slow, we decided OK you can go like this for now...

I am a happy camper!
Mireille

7 comments:

Free Spirit said...

You are so good about give us all kinds of amazing info. Thank you. The girls are beautiful and so glad they are now riding bikes. Love their boots...

Free Spirit said...

You are so good about give us all kinds of amazing info. Thank you. The girls are beautiful and so glad they are now riding bikes. Love their boots...

plantagenet said...

hahaha, bikes all over. some pics could be in Germany. Peter went to bike to the office this morning! I guess it will be one of the last opportunities in this year!!! Fog and hoarfrost is awaiting him on the shady cold rims on his way....
biking used to be fun. Helas when living in the Netherlands I remember the wind always came frontal, no matter which way I turned.... nice pics of the girls!!!

vlijtig said...

The world gets bigger when kids learn to ride the bike. Our little one just switch from her 'baby-bike' to a larger pink bike. She cycles to school now and is so proud!

Maci Miller said...

Oh, how fun! I just love to bike but it is SO hilly here and it's a big process to pack up the bike on the car and transport it to somewhere ridable. Therefore, I haven't pulled it out in ages.

So cool to learn how popular riding is in Holland. I had no idea. Even navigation systems and parking garages for bikes? Incredible! And green, too! But more than that, what a fun Sunday thing to do with a family. Great exercise and lots of fun. Good for you all!

Wendy said...

Love the bike GPS! I feel more culturally aware every time I come to your blog! Thanks for making my world a little bit bigger all the time!

Leah and Maya said...

See now I had no idea that people rode bikes that much. Here's its for pleasure mostly, we live way to far away from anything to use our bikes. Glad to hear they are liking it more and more.

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