Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin
Sunday, 31 May 2020
Sports-minded (sort of...)
A bicycle helmet is seldom looking "smart casual" - and being vain the only way to console myself is: A head bandage doesn't look neither very elegant :-)
Once upon a time, I was biking Then, a long time ago, I stopped. (The reasons are too complicated to explain here).
But you might know the old saying:
When in Rome, do as the Romans do!
So, when you are visiting the Netherlands, you might be well advised to cycle too - they do it from the day they can stand on their own two feet. They call it "fietsen", and they look adorable doing it - often you see two or three meisjes (their girls) in a group, chatting cheerfully while biking, but also quite old people peddle determinedly against the strong wind.
They have enviable bikeways (not as in Berlin, where we had this year alone - from January 2020 to end of May - 7 dead bikers - which is "better" than in 2000, where there were 89! - but then: in the Corona-month there weren't many cars driving, streets empty - and we haven't even spent half of the year). I might sound a bit gloomy, but I thought of them when I started biking again, the day before yesterday.
But: I am courageous. I rented a bike - and bought a helmet. The bike-brand is called "Gazelle" -
though neither the bike nor I on it looked gazelle-like (me running: yes. Me on a bike yesterday: definitely not. When my late father thought that someone did something ungraceful, he murmured: "Like an ape on a grindstone").
I have to admit: I was afraid! For me the big black, heavy bicycle was not easy to ride or direct. To get up: Phew! To go on: Whew!
But I didn't give up - I practised (4th gear on a long even road :-)
And: Skill comes with practise.
I hope it will...
PS: Have you tried to enliven an old skill lately? Tell me, please, to cheer me up.