Handling Skills

Ever marvel at a physical genius? The soccer player who deftly controls a ball with everything except her hands. The basketball player who fakes defenders out of their shoes, then puts the rock in the hole with a gymnastic flourish. The mogul pro who slam the slope, everything in chaotic motion, except his head.

The Dutch are like that on a bike. Maybe it’s the race, maybe the water. Their casual control at low speeds in pedestrian traffic makes the average rider in the states look sketchy at best. I mean, these folks can make love, riding separate bikes, and still keep everything upright!

The other morning, me and some coworkers were carpooling to work. We were driving through Brunssum, and up ahead of us, in the bike track, was this guy on his way to work. The car ahead of us was coming home. The driver, oblivious to the cyclist, pulled into their driveway and BAM! The car connected hard with the rear wheel of the guy’s bike, kicking it out at least 6 inches, maybe a foot. We all heard the impact. Now, if that happened to me, I would have gone down, lucky to not get hurt. But the Dutch are not like you and me. Not only does this guy not go down, he just keeps on pedaling; no drama, no finger, not even a flicker of annoyance. Just a quick look to make sure the equipment was still there and it was over. Totally Zen…


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Filed under culture, urban bike

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