Monday, 2 June 2014

Sunday ride out - Dutch style

Went for a ride on Sunday; the weather forecast for the area was good so I did a bit of planning (most unusual for me) by looking at Google maps and trying to identify some wiggly roads – which is not easy here in Holland. Anyway, I planned out a rough route, factoring the probability that I would get lost, and got away early on Sunday morning. My planning proved to be spot on, as evidenced by the other 200 or so bikers using the same route! It was quite a pleasant ride, albeit fairly slow as the speed limits here are quite low and strictly enforced with speed cameras; that is until I got to Kinderdijk, where police were diverting all motorbikes into a car park for inspection - which is where I discovered that you have to carry all vehicle documents with you. It did look for a minute as if I was going to be in big trouble as of course I had no documents, luckily I remembered to act like an Englishman abroad and spoke very loudly and rapidly – in no time the policeman’s eyes glazed over and he told me to leave.



I then got stopped only a few miles away at another checkpoint, which seemed a bit excessive as all the bikers I saw were well behaved – if I contrast it with a weekend in Britain there would have been lads wheelying past the checkpoint and superbikes with loud pipes and max revs in first showing off – especially as the police were only stopping bikes. I stopped for a while for a coffee and took some photos of the inevitable windmills – I fear my photo library is going to take on an even more boring theme – before deciding to head away from the hassle and try some straight roads. 

Not another bloody windmill

After a pleasant and uneventful couple of hours I returned home to contemplate; perhaps bikers are not so bad off in the UK after all – from what I’ve experienced so far, Dutch drivers have much less regard for motorbikes than I’m used to, maybe because cycles have priority everywhere or maybe it’s a cultural thing. I can also see the value in our British system of road licensing, where all details are held in a database that the police can access instantly to see if you’re insured, your MOT is up to date etc. I know, that sounds like I’m supporting ‘big brother’, but you know, if you’re legal then there’s nothing to fear. And at my age I can afford to tax and insure my vehicles, unlike in my younger years ;)

Tiger in the hallway - sideways

7 comments:

  1. Whatever I do with my tablet I can't get the Tiger upright.....sodding G sensor.

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  2. You can always try and take pics of every windmill. That would keep you out of trouble for years.

    Nikos - I got the Tiger upright, I just turned my head. That technology works most every time. :-)

    It sounds like a nice ride except for the checkpoints. We have legislation going now to try and stop all motorcycle only checkpoints. Luckily there aren't any in Oregon. We do have to carry driver's license, proof of insurance, and registration on us when riding or driving.

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    1. EL D:

      I just thought Tigers had sticky tires

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast

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  3. El D:

    there has also been a lot of discussion here too about bike only road blocks (checkpoints). They don't do it anymore. If there is a license or insurance, or seat belt check, then all vehicles are stopped. Not just the 2 wheeled ones.

    Our database is also access by the police. So they know everything, even if you have a criminal record, or if there are warrants for your arrest.

    Drivers here also have no respect for motorcycles because a few ruin it for the majority

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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  4. Nothing wrong with windmills, I find them very soothing.

    Very creative bike parking by the way.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't see any windmills in Tuscany!

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    2. Now that you're mentioning it...
      neither do we have them in the Black Forest, where mills were water powered in the old days...

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