I'm asking myself tough questions such as: Can I keep the title of my blog?
Will I still cycle without a helmet?
I really don't know.
I guess it will depend on the daily situations that I encounter once I am there- which is Santa Barbara, California, by the way.
Helmets are not mandatory, so it's my choice and that is as it should be. They have seen a solid increase in bicycle commuting (by pitiful U.S. standards), which is great, yes! But I'm certain I'll be riding on streets with bicycle lanes but no physical separation from cars going over 65kph (40mph- crap, I have to use the stupid imperial system again). Also, I expect dooring to be a problem because many of the drivers will not have any cycling experience (unlike dutch drivers) and bicycle lanes are usually laid out next to parked cars- at least they were in NYC... AND- there are mountains! It might take forever to get up, but going back down is going to be fast and likely on badly maintained roads. Bumpy!
I've been very spoiled these past few years.
I'm very sad to leave the Netherlands and Leiden and dutch cycling paradise, but more on that in the coming months. (And my last frantic bicycle trips to visit places that must be seen! Suggestions, anyone? I'm going to visit a monumental tree in Middelburg soon.)
For this post, I'm concentrating on the next year and seeing what may happen.
Luckily, I'm prepared for a few scenarios- see photo.
|Hi-visibility layer (lighweight), helmet and 50spf sunscreen.|
And I've been doing research (googling) to find out what the local bicycle "scene" is like.
Mountains! (Yikes, really?? Can I do this?)
Beer! (Thank god it's not all wine out there.)
Scary mountain trails. (Freaking crazy!)
Personal injury/ bike lawyers. (Enough said.)
defunct facebook page for Cycle Chic movement.
Spandex clubs. (I should just give in and join.)
Custom bikes. (Bendy!)
A bicycle union. (Yes! I can't wait to sit in town hall meetings I can understand again.)
Local rides. (Looking for friends...)
Pro-Transit groups! (Car-free and proud.)
Monthly bicycle rides (Similar to critical mass - a completely redundant idea for the Netherlands.)
Used bicycles. (All cruisers and mountain bikes, yuck.)
Pacific Coast Bicycle Route (HELL YES!)
It's going to be okay.