Being Dutch – Part 7: Fietsen

So, having had my first bike stolen (luckily… before I’d actually purchased it) I found another on Marktplaats (the Dutch version of Ebay) and I am now proud owner of one of the 18 million bikes currently in the Netherlands! A fully fledged member of the cycling community!

Mijn fiets (my bike)

Mijn fiets (my bike)

Isn’t she a beauty!? Of course, being a girl, next on the list was to make her look pretty… so off to the market we went! It was very wet and windy on Saturday but that certainly didn’t dampen my spirits!! We managed to buy a very beautiful, yet reasonably priced, fietsmandje (literally: bike basket) and some bloemen (flowers) to boot!

Pimp my ride!!

Pimp my ride!!

I haven’t ridden a bike for at least 2 years, so it was a wobbily start… but it’s true: you never forget how to ride a bike!! With a bit of practice, I’m already gaining confidence. It feels a bit like my struggle with speaking the Dutch language… you just need practice and confidence and you’re already halfway there! Now let’s hope I don’t fall off! (That 2 years ago was on a very wet day in England and I was waaaaay too confident!! Misjudged a curb and went straight over the handlebars!! Ooops!!)

In addition to the extensive network of cycling paths along the main roads here in Hilversum, we’re also very lucky to be on the doorstep of Loosdrechtsebos (bos = forest) which has excellent fietspaden (cycling paths.)



I think the Dutchie and I are going to spend A LOT of time exploring our local area by bike! It’s absolutely stunning!

Fantastic views right on our doorstep!

Fantastic views right on our doorstep!

Plan for the weekend: ride to Loosdrecht to explore the famous lakes, “the Loosdrechtse Plassen”… which makes me giggle because plassen means to pee! 

Yep, I’m a child! 😉

Hayley x


  1. I’m Dutch and married to an Australian sheep farmer. In Australia people don’t ride bikes! Kids get driven to school, even if it’s 100 meters up the road. In my work place of over 70 people I am the only one that commutes to work on a bike. Most motorists have a strong dislike of cyclists and it is almost a national sport to toot as you pass as close and as fast as you can 😦 In the last few years some of the bigger cities have built bike paths, but you constantly have to swerve out into traffic in case you get ‘doored’ by a parked car.And of course bike helmets are the law or risk getting a $50.- fine.


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