Cycling in the Netherlands comes as easy as walking. The journey from origin to destination is (mostly) effortless, a journey free of emissions, danger, and inefficiencies. It’s quick, well thought-out, and exceptionally convenient; every destination is a short jaunt away without any worries about schedules or traffic. The bikes are comfortable, and so is the infrastructure, presenting to bicyclists clear paths and signage to make getting around safely a breeze. As expected, the design in the Netherlands puts bicycles on a pedestal above most vehicles, and oftentimes above pedestrians. Every element of design is meant to protect vulnerable cyclists, including the angles of intersections, the placement of stop bars, signage, and grade separation. They serve to ensure cyclists have a clear, consistently approachable path without the threat of motor vehicles invading their space unexpectedly. By forcing cars to yield to bikes at nearly every conflict point, it ensures that cyclists aren’t forced to inefficiently stop and start, and that the delays in cycle journeys are kept to a minimum. The nature of this trip, specifically the need to group a dozen students together, meant that certain processes (bike signal timings and space to wait) did not work as well as they would have for more typical riders. As such, even the worst parts of the experience were due to unusual circumstance, not as a result of design decisions. And that ease of use is readily apparent wherever you go. There is a certain nonchalance with which the Dutch approach cycling: the casual flick of the hand to signal, the assumption that anyone who doesn’t know what they’re doing is a dunce, the contemptuous glances at a group of bumbling Americans unable to navigate something so intrinsic to daily life. It is admirable in its ambition and in its effectiveness, that an entire nation has decided to embrace a system of infrastructure that provides for the common good in a way no other country has been able to replicate. And while the Netherlands and its associated vagaries may take some getting used to, this is one that I will gladly embrace.