July 30, 2012
The weekend left me with a full belly, a sore throat, a bike seat-bruised behind. Clearly, this is the correct state in which to leave Amsterdam.
There is something about me that you might not know, and it is this: I never learned to ride a bike. When other children were running around the neighborhood playing tag and learning how to pedal their tiny two-wheeled conveyances, scraping knees in the process, I was spending afternoons at the dance studio or with a tutor. Growing up, I had never found it necessary to ride, living in LA where the automobile is king, so I didn’t. But in Amsterdam, bicycles are the best and most-used mode of transportation — upon stepping out of the central train station, you are greeted with a multi-level bicycle parking structure. And if I wanted to see the best the city had to offer, I would need to ride. We rented a tandem so that I needn’t learn to balance and navigate and pedal all at once, and went for a long, idyllic ride down the Amstel River.