Saturday, July 08, 2006

What a Bicycle Crash Means

As we were watching live coverage of the Tour de France individual time trials this afternoon, a nasty crash by American rider Bobby Julich prompted a series of questions from inquisitive Elliot:

"What happened?" He crashed going around that corner.

"Why did he crash?" It's hard to say. Maybe he hit some gravel on the road or something.

"Did he get hurt?" Yeah, it looks like he hurt his wrist or something.

As the medical crews from Team CSC huddled around the injured rider and consulted with race officials, it appeared that the veteran rider's race was over. I commented that I was sad to see one of the American riders out of the Tour. Elliot evidently started to grasp the fact that Bobby Julich would be going home. But I was surprised and amused to observe the thought process of my American-born-Dutch-bred son, when he asked his next questions:

"How will he get home?" Ummm... He'll probably get a ride in one of the team cars.

"How will he get his bike home?" They'll probably fit it in one of the cars, too.

Only in Holland is bicycling not just a sport or a recreational activity -- it's a way of life. Since living in Amsterdam these last three and a half years, bicycle has become our primary means of transportation. Our way to get to school. To church. To the grocery store. To the park. To get back home...

It's so funny to see the way that living in Amsterdam has affected my family's view of the world. But it's kind of cool, too.


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