How I Learned to Cycle Like a Dutchman @ www.newyorker.com
By Dan Kois - September 13, 2019
And so we set off, with varying levels of feigned confidence, down the brick streets of Delft, the uneven surface making our wheels jostle. Every few turns of the pedals, I’d ride past a single brick that was painted the elegant blue-and-white of Delftware. As we crossed a canal on a high stone bridge, four boys zoomed past, each with a girlfriend perched sidesaddle atop his back wheel; they were followed, like a punch line, by a girl, pedalling hard, with a boyfriend sitting pertly atop hers.
We rode past the Oude Kerk, whose steeple, from the fourteenth century, leans at a pitch greater than that of Pisa’s tower. To our right was a wall of narrow three- and four-story apartment buildings, each with a business on the ground floor. To our left was the seven-hundred-year-old Oude Delft canal, its still surface covered with lily pads and floating trash. There was no protective guardrail or fence, not even a curb—just an unnerving, cliff-like drop. I kept imagining myself zooming off the edge, “Thelma & Louise”–style, and into the dark water.
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