Being in Trondheim, I hadn’t really realised just how much I’m used to cycling. And how much I love it. I was fine just walking everywhere. Until I got a bike, that is!
A Very Kind Reader
Lars, one of my readers who was studying in Trondheim over the fall, left the city to go home in December. He was extremely kind by leaving his bike behind, and I could take it over when I got here.
On a Quest for a Bike
So, last Friday, I set out for the “studentvillage” where the bike was stored in a hallway. After ringing some doorbells, a friendly Asian student let me in and I could look for the bike. Which turned out to be very easy. Lars had given a clear description and the bike was right there waiting for me. It even had a helmet attached. Although it is very strange to cycle with a helmet in the Netherlands, I can understand why it would be wise to use one over here. What with mountains, steep hills, snow and ice.
Happy Like a Kid
It was only when I got outside and stepped onto “my” bike that I realised quite how much I like to cycle. Having the freedom to cover some more kilometres just gives such a nice feeling. And the ease to get from one place to another, that is something I had unknowingly missed rather a lot. Even though there was snow and ice on the ground, the bike worked perfect and I rode around like a proud little kid, smiling from ear to ear.
Dutch Love of Cycling
Maybe being brought up in the Netherlands implores you to take a liking to cycling. We Dutch people cycle everywhere, and I think you can almost be certain that every Dutch person knows how to ride a bike. I read that 26% of all transport in the Netherlands is done by bike. In 2011, it was estimated that there are about 19 million bicycles in the Netherlands. That is more than there are citizens! So I think it is save to say Dutch people have an inbred love of cycling.
As for me, I am absolutely, totally overjoyed with my bike. I have not yet dared to cycle down the steepest, ice-covered roads, but that will just take some getting used to, I think.
So, to conclude, thank you, Lars, for letting me have your bike!