While it was wasn't exactly the National Lampoon version, Last week's pavement team Euro trip was still pretty fly. The team decided to skip across the pond to the land wooden shoes and windmills to figure out how they get down dutch-style. Listen, those people are bike-sick. I'm not talking sick as in "wicked". I mean sick as in, a disease that has taken over every aspect of your being. Amsterdam is like a some kind of crazy bike Willy Wonka land. Three piece suits with three kids in tow sick. Cop on a folding bike sick. Buy a Christmas Tree and take it home with me on my bike sick (check out the Flickr stream). We hopped on some crappy rental bikes and hit the city. The thing is, everybody's got crappy bikes. The coffee was not crappy. I will say that.
London was next and the bike scene is ridiculous. Hand it to the women of the Empire. Not only do they rock the sexiest of all accents, but they ride just as much as the guys do. Tons of fixies. Expected and nothing shocking but some hot whips for sure. We stumbled across a guy who builds custom colored fixies out of a garage for around 200 pounds (that's money, remember we're on the metric system here). The bikes are "gahbage" but it's a sweet business model. Tip: If you want great Indian food, go to London. Go to Amaya in Chelsea. Get the Madras chicken.
#1 Thing I learned: Obey all cops. Even if they are on folding bikes.
#2 Thing I learned: Dutch cyclists do not know any more about bikes that American cyclists. They just view the bicycle differently.
- Think about that one. 40% of all trips in the Netherlands are on bikes. In the US, it's less that 0.5%. If we could get ourselves up to even 5%, that would be a revolution.