At the risk of stating the obvious, the Netherlands is a biking country. There are, in fact, more bikes in certain cities than residents. Bikes are everywhere – including in canals.
The Dutch bike wherever, whenever. They bike with crates of beer. They bike with children perched on their bike racks. They bike with bags of groceries balanced precariously on their handlebars. They bike in the rain. They bike in the wind (it can be seriously windy here). They bike when drunk. They bike when injured.
That last one nearly caused my demise – or at the very least a (more) serious injury. It’s like this. I’m always trying to prove that I’m not only a European but a Dutchie. So, after I injured my ankle and was reduced to one crutch after two weeks of being housebound, I decided I could ride my bike to my pedicure appointment. Considering my inability to wear closed shoes due to a swollen ankle and foot, I really, really needed to get to that pedicure appointment!
My hubby – being a native Dutchie – gave me some advice on how to secure my crutch (I should have probably listened to his advice) and off I went. It didn’t take me long to realize that I’m a complete idiot. Still, I nearly made it to the salon before I ran into some scaffolding, get stuck, and caused a little girl to fall and start crying. At least my toenails looked awesome as I slunk home in embarrassment.
Fast forward two weeks and I’m off the crutch. Yes! Naturally, this means I can totally bike. Off I went again. Everything was going fine until I hit a stoplight. Stopping went okay. Slight jarring pain but I wasn’t gritting my teeth in pain so all’s well. Until I tried to start biking again. My injured leg was too weak for me to get my bike going. I hopped and rolled until I managed to get enough momentum to get going.
I can learn from my mistakes. So, at the next stop light, I decided to put my bad foot down so that I could start biking with my uninjured leg. Of course, I forgot that meant I needed to put all my weight on my injured side. I only leaned into another biker. Really, I didn’t cause her to fall over or anything.
I managed to make it to my appointment without hitting any more red lights. That went well so I decided I just wasn’t going to stop for red lights on my bike home. Unfortunately, lights turn red for a reason – like a tram coming across the road. I thought I could balance my bike without moving and without putting a foot down. I couldn’t. Luckily, there was no one on the sidewalk as I wobbled onto it.
The rest of the ride home I just ran through the lights yelling at whoever that I was only trying to integrate. I found myself hilarious. That may have had something to do with the three glasses of wine I drank. For some reason, the hubby was extremely relieved when I messaged to tell him I’d made it home safe and sound.