Amsterdam. Everyone cycles here of course, except stag-party Brits, so I took a bike (picture) to ensure I wasn't mistaken for one of them. It worked: the prostitutes ignored me.
Also, when I bumped into another cyclist, momentarily forgetting which side of the cycle path I should be on, he swore and threatened to kill me in Dutch. I was delighted, as I had been taken for a local.
Anyway, I took my folder, taking advantage of a five-quid Megabus each way - thus ticking two boxes much approved of by our Netherlands chums: 'bike use', and 'economy'.
Thanks to the amount of people on two wheels, cycling feels a normal and safe thing to do. High-visibility clothing is evidently unnecessary, and few people bother with lights. The only red lights I saw were in those prostitute booths I cycled past unacknowledged.
In fact, most riders seemed to be listening to their iPod, texting, web surfing etc, with little negative impact on safety.
Albert Cuyp market (picture). The box is so big, it can accommodate two children, or one cheese.
Of course, I cycled gleefully round to some of the city's must-sees: cosy Jordaan cafes, snowy Vondelpark, quirky canalsides, the Rijksmuseum's Rembrandts, the Hermitage's van Goghs, the newly extended Stedelijk. Anyone who thinks the Stedelijk's art collection is a load of old rubbish is quite wrong. It's all modern.
A day at the races: Motor racing has no effect on cycling in the Netherlands. Nor does everyday driving. That's why people cycle. - I've never had much interest in motor sport. When I was a child I remember being taken to see motor racing twice and having found it noisy and unpleasant. ...
1 day ago