When you come from a sunny place like Madrid, with summer days that seem never ending, it is all too easy to give good weather for granted. But here in Amsterdam you learn your lesson soon enough: if it's sunny, go out and enjoy it! Some Sunday not too long ago we decided to do just that and explore Amsterdam Noord. To get to Noord, there are small ferry boats that take you and your ride from Central Station every few minutes. You don't even need to get off your bike.
Once you roll off the ferry, you only need to ride for a couple of miles along a canal before you leave the city. Of course, in The Netherlands you are never short of options when you want to ride somewhere, and it gets even better when you want to ride no where in particular. You just pedal easily along the better looking path or shared country road, and enjoy the scenery
This configuration is very common on smaller roads. Cars have to share the central lane and yield to cyclist at all times. If two cars meet, they may invade the bicycle lanes, but only if no one's coming. If there are cyclist near by, the cars just stop and wait. This way, everyone can enjoy the road safely. On a sunny summer day, you will meet plenty of tourists on their rental bikes exploring the region, sportive cyclists training, people walking and even riding horses.
After a nice relaxed ride, we went back to the lively Amsterdam bicycle traffic. But only after stopping to smell the flowers, of course.
With love, from the bicycle city, Ãlvaro