Your Commute Is Easy Compared To A Dutch Teenager's

Humans love to complain about their commutes, but there is no way yours was worse than what Dutch teenagers have to put up with.

Before today, I knew just about nothing about the commutes of Dutch teenagers. When we posted this video of some crazy Dutchies trying to bike in what we here in America would call "a hurricane." The Dutch would describe this as "a light breeze."

Our readers philiphilip, Supercharged, and duurtlang then chimed in to say this is nothing out of the ordinary, and biking sideways is just a way of life over there.



It's a rite of passage for Dutch teenagers. Some cultures have coming of age ceremonies in houses of faith, others go through various rituals and doctinal teachings, but Dutch teenagers come of age by battling the elements on their bicycles on the way to school. This is how we learn that we will always be at the mercy of the weather, which is a very important lesson in a country that is 90% below sea level.

I miss those days...


I had classmates who cycled about 15 km (>9 miles) one way to get to school. 5 times a week, every week that wasn't a holiday. The only exception was when there was black ice on the roads, which was only a few days a year.

And then they turned 16. While still 2 years too young for their first driving lesson in a car or on a motorcycle they did suddenly become old enough for a moped. So they all got a moped to battle the weather. Did I mention I lived in a polder (=very flat, nothing but farm land) that was located on a narrow peninsula very close to sea (=lots of wind).


The Dutch teenager is molded by the wind. If you haven't cycled headfirst into winds of at least 77.3 km/h by age 15 on your morning school run you will become a social pariah.


So remember while you're sitting in traffic - at least you're not biking to work in with mother nature attempting to knock you on the ground.

Photo Credit: radu124

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Raphael Orlove

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