Sunday, 21 September 2014

Who says Dutch chivalry is dead?

So there I was, biking along on my bike path on the side-walk (some bike paths are on the road) and there are a few people crossing it on the zebra crossing. As you'd expect there are always a lot of tourists in Amsterdam and not all realise that here bikes "tend" to have priority on the streets, I suspect partly cause the breaks don't work plus they ride with the seat in a very high position meaning one has to get off the bike when stopping. So as I'm approaching the people I rang the little bell to warn them. One guy decided to just stay in the middle of the bike path and stretch his arm in order to stop me. In those split seconds I thought about swerving but ended up using my breaks which slowed me down but I ended up hitting the guy as he held my handlebar. I had to evidently get of my bike not to fall. As he started shouting at me (in English) "you have to stop for people" and so on. I just froze, slightly shaking and trying to say sorry for hitting him. Seconds later a Dutch guy (who was with a few friends) just started shouting back at him "why are you shouting to the girl? Here in Amsterdam we are nice people". The guy let go my handlebar and both moved to the side and one of the Dutch guy's friends just told me to leave. I hope they didn't get into any fight but it was nice to feel "rescued".

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