Along with its cheese and its permissive attitude toward recreation, Holland is famous for its bike trails, which almost makes me want to move here. L.A. has a lot of bike lanes, but the Dutch have decided that bike access is important enough that bikes get a whole separate avenue parallel to the road. They did this not because of global warming (the Dutch culture of cycling goes back well over 100 years, although there were apparently some setbacks in the 1950s and ’60s), but because biking is awesome. Also, according to somebody at McGill University,
According [to] Pucher and Dijkstra (2003), cycling only falls off slightly as age increases. The Dutch and Germans who are 75 and older make roughly half their trips by foot or bike, whereas in America this is compared with only 6% of people 65 and older.
In unrelated news… having now seen a dike, I’m puzzled as to how sticking your thumb in one would do any good. The one here in Millingen, at least, is basically just a hill. Maybe there are wallier ones somewhere else.