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Monday, May 24, 2004

MEET FELLOW COMMUTER RONNIE 

Nothing like a little international exchange. Thanks to Ronnie from the Netherlands for sharing his commuting story with us.

I live in a place called Hellevoetsluis in The Netherlands, Europe. Two years ago, I was in the Ardennes in Belgium on a camp site. There I met an American who had just retired, or left the rat-race as he called it. He threw his bike on the plane, flew to Switzerland and was biking his way through Europe.
The Ardennes are not really the best place to ride a bike, unless you go off road. People in their cars drive like maniacs and there is not a bike path in sight. Anyway, this man was telling me he was heading for The Netherlands because he heard such good things about our bike paths.

This made me think about what a great place Holland is to ride a bike in. Great roads everywhere, mostly flat, weather is not too bad most of the year and the people are generally very relaxed. Although the last is up for discussion ofcourse. Anyway, this man and his ride through Europe stuck with me and soon I found myself looking for a good bike. At that time, I was getting into the voluntary simplicity thing and somewhere in the back of a shop I found a great bike, a Trek. It was an old model, used for window displays and all, but the guy fixed it up and sold it at about a quarter of the price.

After that, I told my girlfriend that I would bike to work at least once a week. She started laughing and said it was about 30 kms to work. And how was I, a desk jockey, good at shuffling pappers, going to do that? Imagine that… So, the next Friday I loaded up my MP3 player, got out my old army raincoat and set off for work.

If I leave my house, I have to cross a road and then I pass a Mercedes dealership. I always wondered what people see in those huge, clunky cars. Riding on a bike past it, you get a good view of the people scurrying through the lot. The street I am then on, goes along for about 5 kms, along some old houses which were probably built around the turn of the century and some newer ones, and somehow it all sticks together.

Continuing on this road, I leave Hellevoetsluis and I reach the no-mans land between the industrialized area of the port of Rotterdam and my town. It is mostly farmland with some big McMansions between. The smart people get out off the traffic and on to these backroads, saving them from the 2 meter at a time hop. Traffic can be pretty ugly around this time of morning. Bad part is that all these crazed people drive like idiots and wearing an MP3 player isn’t helping very much.

After a little while, I get to the good part. Coming to a bridge, where 2 lanes become one. You guessed it, bumper-to-bumper time. Very funny to see all these people in their cars. Some even read a newspaper, while others just have a 1000 yard stare..

Crossing the bridge, I can see big oil terminals ahead. I go to the right, leaving traffic as it is and I come to long stretches of bike paths. The roads are lined with huge trees, which I think were once planted as wind-breakers. They do a good job at that, because a few kms later, there are no more trees and the riding is a lot harder then.


Comments:
Dear fellow blogger,

I perused your post with much interest as I was looking for ways to trade in construction. But unfortunately your post did not exactly cover trading in construction. Yet I have fount a website that allows you to trade in almost anything like construction on interest free credit, and you can pay for your construction whenever you want. Here is the link one more time: construction.
 
Dear fellow blogger,

I perused your post with much interest as I was looking for ways to trade in construction. But unfortunately your post did not exactly cover trading in construction. Yet I have fount a website that allows you to trade in almost anything like construction on interest free credit, and you can pay for your construction whenever you want. Here is the link one more time: construction.
 
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