School is around 2 kilometers from my home, I was a happy teenager commuting to school in bicycle. Cycling is one of my favorite mode of travel, then and now. In urban parts of Kerala, a state in south of India, bicycle is only seen among school students, the rest used fuel consuming vehicles to travel around. Following the suit, bicycle journey came to an end when I became a college student. Discarded and unmaintained, it rested in a corner and got rusted. I remember that I felt it as an embarrassment even to go out to a nearby shop in bicycle when coevals used scooter or car.
Fast forward, I am happily travelling around along the beautiful cycle paths. Trailing spouse and expat in Netherlands,I was quite surprised by the ubiquitous use of bicycles and the well maintained cycle paths. It might be difficult to find a Dutch who doesn’t know to cycle or doesn’t use one. Bicycles are just in par with the four-wheeler(or better as in some cases cyclists are given preference to cross lanes) in the right to have a path of their own!. Of course cyclists have to follow cycle path rules, use hand signals and keep traffic signals for bicycle lane.
One of the beauty of this place is canals. Running parallel to the canals there are cycle paths. On a sunny day, cycling the canal side or a wooded area along the cycle path is sure to be a subject of happiness for a bicycle lover. If only I knew the bicycle culture, I wouldn’t have let mine rusted. Happy Cycling , a pleasant outdoor activity.