Hop on Hop off in Amsterdam

The biggest disadvantage of  working abroad part-time and spending some nights per week in a hotel is the fact that you must go out for dinner on your own each night. So I gladly accept any offer from colleagues (usually other expats) to join me for dinner somewhere.

Last Thursday a local collague promised me to show me part of the city and I was really looking forward to that. We left the office and we started walking while she holds her bike at her hand.

"You'll have to hop on the back though a bit further"

We walk a bit further and then she says "ok hop on now"
Where I had expected her to stop and allowing me to go and sit on the back of her bike gently with one leg on each side and then take off, she actually started to peddle away and got me running behind her.

"Come on , jump, you can do it"
"What ? How?"
"Just jump on the back, legs both to one side"

Wtf? She meant it, she was simply biking away. If I didn't jump she'd be gone in traffic while I was still running on the side.  So I tried to launch a jump towards the back of her bike, failing to land on her bike of course. With some laughter she stops for a moment, and encourages me to try again.

The next 3 times I somehow land on her bike but fall off right away and but finally I land more or less stable on her moving bike, grabbing her middle for balance.  And off we were cruising through the streets of Amsterdam along the canals. Just when I start feeling comfortable and enjoying my bike taxi ride,  she tells me to get off again at a big crosspoint where she needs to stop.

And so on the other side I make my jumps again, succeeding now almost right away.  The process repeated a few more times, each time when traffic clogged and she had to stop and I gained the skill to launch myself from the sidewalk immediately on the back of her bike.

"Aaaah now you're an Amsterdammer, everyone who sees us know is convinced you are local, this is how we do it in Amsterdam"
"Is it legal to sit on the back of a bike?"
"Well, look around, you see many people catching a ride with someone else"
"Yeah sure but that's not my question, in Belgium you're officially not allowed"
"Oh.....euh, don't know, this is how we give someone a lift in Amsterdam"
"Ok, well thanks, it's great, I don't mind if you ride me all around the city like this"  and I enjoyed the views and the wind in my face until we arrived in the Jordaan quarter where we spent the rest of the very warm evening on a terrace.


Korie said…
That's something I've never seen...someone taking a running jump to get on the back of a bike.
Brian Miller said…
ah good job being adventurous and blending in with the locals...smiles.

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