Tuesday, April 12, 2011
These past few days have finally been warm enough for me to get out of the house and go on some pretty epic bike rides. Contrary to the true polderlands, the area around Nijmegen is actually pretty hilly, which makes for an interesting ride when you're also weighted down with a DSLR and assorted birding gear, and on an omafiets, to boot.
I am not alone in getting out and about, though most cyclists on nice weekends are the overweight-dentists-in-spandex sort. There are several serious cycling teams, denoted by their corporate-sponsored uniforms, and in the ultimate nod to irony, mountain bikers also hit the paths in not-insubstantial numbers. To be fair, thee last group probably do most of their biking on the woods in between the paths. Even so, as hilly as Nijmegen can get, it's hardly Swiss, and I can't help but think of the I'm-so-tuff-I-got-springs-on-my-bike wannabe gangsta bikes in Philly when I see them.
You have bikes, and then you have Bikes--i.e., motorcycling club-types who, given a free reign, would have ended up rightfully spoofed on South Park. As it is, Harleys are not quite as popular as their speedier, zippier counterparts, and while those are still loud, they're not quite obnoxious.
But in about another week or so, when the weather is REALLY nice, the owners of vintage cars--cars that look like they were built in the 30s, with corresponding leather-and-brass luggage--will start coming out, forming strings of nostalgia leisurely motoring their way towards some little out-of-the-way brasserie.
Exploring new paths is something uniquely suited to spring, and the turning of the year: things seem more inviting in the light, and paths seem more like possibilities than hazards. It's a good time to wander.