I've erased the paragraph I wrote about feeling out of place at the Joop Zoetermelk Classic, (NOT A RACE!!!) I think this photo says it all.
Do you see me?
How about now?
Let's be reminded that cycling is as common as walking in the Netherlands... they take it for granted, for normal, uninteresting and banal. It's not a sport or a lifestyle, it's just an easy means of transportation. Most dutch people will balk at cycling more than a few kilometers or between towns, instead, they just take the train. Easy. Sensible.
This means that while daily cycling is nothing special, anything else is extremely special... And for these especially special situations (such as going on an organized ride), the typical dutch person will appear extraordinarily well-equipped. They will dust off their fancy carbon fiber steed, don little spandex booty things and tear across the countryside. In fact, more the 5000 of them did so at the Joop Zoetermelk Classic, and I think they all passed me during the ride.
The middle ground, (people like me who love cycling for hours but not going particularly fast) was very, very sparsely populated.
So I learned on Saturday. Oh, and it was super fun!!!