I’ve been living in the Netherlands for a few months now, and my biking skills have improved so much. I still haven’t mastered the art of riding “Dutch style” — which is hopping onto the back wheel of someone else’s bike, to steal a ride, like a parasite or something. Of course I kid. It’s very romantic and I envy the girls who can run and hop onto the back of bikes with grace. I love biking in this country, not only because it is flat road 99.97 per cent of the time, you don’t need to wear a helmet (hello, no helmet hair!), because there are bike lanes everywhere, and everyone bikes in dresses. Even wearing high heels is a go, because you don’t need to spend much time on your feet getting to your destination.
Like today, I’m wearing heeled nude oxfords, a short striped dress from H&M and a pale pink buttoned blazer from H&M as well.
My favourite part of this outfit, though, Is my vintage pearl beaded collar necklace. I found it at an impromptu flea market in Maastricht when it was Carnival back in February. My friends and I were walking away from the train station towards our hotel, and bam! Like some shopping miracle, a cute selection of vendors with stalls were selling antiques and costumes. I fell in love with this piece from the 1950s.
My bike was also used and loved by someone else. Because of so many bike thefts in Utrecht, I decided to just buy an old beater from a used bike shop, and I loved the way this one rode… very fast! Which is great for me, because I don’t want to get huge thighs peddling everywhere I need to go. I picked up this milk crate basket from my favourite Dutch shop, Hema. It falls off sometimes, spilling all my fresh fruit and groceries into the street, but it’s pink, so I forgive it.
I will definitely miss this lifestyle. Biking is eco-friendly, a relaxing way to get exercise and work your heart, and if you can master holding an umbrella while riding, you can handle anything on a bike – except Toronto car drivers.