Cycling in the Netherlands was a cultural shock. Nice paved bike roads, different types of bike signs, and signals instantly grabbed my eyes at first. These well-designed bike systems already made me looking forward to biking. On our way to rent our bikes, we saw countless bikers instead of car drivers, which was very strange because in the US, car drivers outnumber bikers. However, in the Netherlands, bikers outnumber car drivers. Another interesting fact was most of bikers in the Netherlands were using normal Dutch bikes, which are the bikes with small bags where you can store stuff; handles are curved and saddles are backed more, which help increasing comfortability and stability. I have not seen bikes like that because bikes in the US typically do not have bags. Some of them have baskets but a lot of people use bikes without bags such as road bikes. After I tried a Dutch bike, I felt much more comfortable than when I biked in the US and they were easy to maneuver.
On our second day in the Netherlands, we got a chance to bike for long. Bike roads were paved and completely separated from car roads so I felt so safe and was actually enjoying biking whole time. Overall, we biked 28 miles and I was surprised bike roads were never been disconnected. They were stretched out even in rural area, which you could never think of in the US. Bike roads were all well-paved and bike signs were always to be found at every intersection or at where they were needed. The interesting fact was cyclists were generally prioritized over cars because we saw many cars yielding for us, which helped us to keep biking. The small fact that I wished to be reinforced was the length of bike signals because it was so short that we had to stop even if there were no cars.
Over the last two days, I have not seen a number of cars that I could easily find in the US. Instead, I saw a number of bikers. Cycling seemed to be the easiest and the most common transportation for Dutch. I saw a woman carrying her babies on her bike; I saw an old man (seemed to be over 70) biking; I saw a businessman biking with a suitcase. I think cycling is not only just for transportation in the Netherlands but also a part of their culture. Even if we are here for research, I can come back here just to enjoy Dutch bike systems because cycling has rooted so deep that it has become a part of their culture for tourists to experience them.