With New Years just around the corner, the streets of Amsterdam are relatively quiet. Most people are on holiday (or busy shopping in Ikea, my idea of hell on a good day), making the pace of life slower. Slowing down has helped me notice what’s around—that is, what I would normally speed past on my bike, or what dozens of cyclists would obscure from me, speeding past themselves—giving me a greater perspective on my environment.
When I first moved to Amsterdam, I had no bike and saw the city on foot. Walking is obviously much slower than cycling. This makes for a great introduction because you see much more: a creative window display, a cat peeking its head outside or a slice of an elaborate ceiling. But cycling allows you to expand your knowledge of a city, to explore its boundaries and rhythm, how human traffic pulses and circulates through the streets. Gaining this greater “macro” perspective is what makes me fall in love with a place because I have a greater sense of its whole.
But it is quiet now, allowing me the opportunity to see subtlety again. This is the gift of the season. That’s why spotting this bike thrilled me for it combines waht I love most: nature (the best damned artist on the planet) and bikes (also, an incredible art form):