Since I have been active as an operator of bike-tours, I have started to realize that there is a big difference between the way the Dutch and Danish and most of the north/western Europeans bike and the way our guests from “abroad” look upon it.
For us there are about three different ways to use your bike.
Three ways Dutch people see biking
First and most common: as a way to get from A to B, easiest as possible. Not only ourselves, but also our groceries, our kids or even our dogs. To go to school, college, work, friends, the pub. Drunk driving is forbidden on a bike as much as in a car, but on the bike you will not run into traffic-controls that much. So we have a broad variety of reasons to bike. Children will get their first bikes at 3 or 4 and are able to bike soon after. And as they grow older they will continue to use it a lot, mostly from A to B.
Second: as a way to have an outing, go for a daytrip or even a holiday. Mostly still using the same type of bike we already have, not wearing helmets or bike clothing. Just like we go walking, take some raingear, pack a sandwich and go. This is not everybody’s cup of tea, here the distinction between enjoying this or avoiding it starts. It’s great fun and its some exercise at the same time. It’s enjoying the scenery and being outdoors
Third: as a sports activity, racing or mountainbiking, go to the max or at least get as much exercise and miles as you can, or climb as high as you can get. For the last part then we normally have to travel to the more southern parts of Europe. This is a sport, so we buy special roadbikes or mountainbikes to do so, and wear helmets and cycling cloths.
Did not do research, so it’s a guess: around 90% of the Dutch bike, around 10% of them go on outings using a bike, and another 5% uses a bike for racing or mountainbiking.
Three ways Americans see biking
And how do our guests look upon it, or more in general, how do for instance the Americans look upon biking? Well, this is a blog, so you are welcome to comment on this on our FACEBOOK PAGE !!
First and most common: it’s considered to be a child’s activity, like using a skateboard. Just for fun.
Second: it’s considered as a possible way to stay in shape and work on your body/lung capacity, with a high emphasis on reaching goals.
Third: it’s considered as a way to have an outing or a holiday.
Fourth: it’s considered as a way of get from A to B.
How BikePlanet sees biking
To make perfectly clear what we offer on our bike tours, I want to share my personal experiences with you. I have joined many groups of guests and for me it’s sometimes hard to understand some of our guests who do not stop at great scenic places, if we do not “force” them to do so. I like biking, but we do consider it as an outing and a great way to really “be IN it”. I prefer biking over walking because of the rapid changes of scenery and the scope of your tour. But I do look around and stop, I like to have that break at the local bakery or an afternoon light beer at a terrace . I do not mind that much about how many miles we go, unless there are too many miles ahead 😉
So that’s what we offer: leisurely biking! And we love it…. With options to do a bit more or longer, so we can meet up with everybody’s expectations.
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