Riding my Dutchie today…

Dutchie — a Dutch Bike!

I have a Dutchie.

What’s a Dutchie?

A Dutch bike, other may call it a sit-up-and-beg bike.

I cycled to the shops to collect something and buy some groceries. As I was packing up my groceries in the panniers on my bike an elderly gentleman walked past with his trolley. He was walking quite slowly as if he struggled moving his legs. He paused by me, had a big smile on his face and said ‘oh wow, she’s beautiful’.

Obviously he was talking about my Dutchie.

He continued to share with me that he loved cycling when he was younger and cycled from Kidderminster to Pontypridd, some 100 miles in one direction and also cycled back the next day taking a detour and cycling 140 miles back.

It certainly brought some memories back for him. He then shared with me that he would love to cycle again but that the roads were just to dangerous these days. I agreed with him, the roads in the UK are so scary to cycle on. I shared with him that as a lot of drivers in the UK have never cycled on the roads, they have very little or maybe even no empathy with cyclists and will regard them as a nuisance and in the way.

I certainly experience a lot of scary incidents on the UK roads with acts of road rage, horn noises and cars racing past too close for comfort, just needing to get past in a hurry. Really what are they rushing back to?

Anyway the gentleman continued to share that he was in quite poor health and suffers with Parkinson’s disease and he wasn’t actually very long for this world. My response was, actually we’re all not very long for this world. He suggested that he would be ahead of me, to which I responded, well someone has to lead the way.

He smiled, laughed and looked for his wife and went on his way.

It was a wonderful interaction that I wanted to make a record of. It always pays to pause and have a chat with a stranger.

Happy chatting!

Michael de Groot