In the last one year, my journey took a completely strange course. One thing led to another and I ended up in Netherlands! And it is a good country. In fact, the goodest country of 2018. So, what is great about this place?
First good thing about this country: Bicycles. They are everywhere. And it is not a hobby of the people. It is a way of life. And the people love their bikes or Fiets as they call them in Dutch. This is a small country with 17 million people but they together own 22.5 million bikes. And they don’t just reserve them for the weekends. A quarter of the people cycle every day. And Netherlands doesn’t have a great weather to boast of. It rains most of the year, is very very windy (imagine 30-40kmph wind at 5 deg C) and yet, the people don’t seem to care too much.
I am not sure whether the love of cycling came first or whether the infrastructure came first (it must be the former). In any case, they have the best cycling infrastructure in the world. This video is no exaggeration at all, rather it is a bit of an under-statement.
This is one country which has got its priorities right when it comes to road infrastructure. I have sometimes seen roads (for cars) which are narrower than the cycling paths. And it still works.
I clock about 70 kms of cycling per week now. So, it keeps me fit as well. I was thinking of buying a car this year. But in this country, I am not sure if I really need one. So, my carbon footprint is down. From my home to office, it takes me 20 minutes by bike. By car, it would be 15-20 minutes. Biggest of all, I don’t feel like a odd fellow cycling alone. Any time of the day/year/weather, there is always company on the cycling path. When the king of Netherlands himself goes cycling around, there is no reason for the people not to.