Does it get any more Dutch? Cycling to the frozen canal to go skating

After two very cold days in Utrecht this was going to be a blog post about the resilience of the bare-headed Dutch cyclists riding around in a wind chill of minus 10 Celsius.

Or maybe a quick update on the “Ocean of Bicycles” parked at the station which has remained one of the most visited posts on this blog for several years.

Copyright photo by Kevin Mayne

But as I glanced out of the window of Fietsersbond’s office in Utrecht (Dutch Cyclists’ Union) I realised the schools were emptying and the city was coming out to play on the canals.

Copyright photo by Kevin Mayne

And when I called my other visiting colleagues to the window we just stood and smiled, feeling like we had stepped into a timeless scene, like a painting from Bruegel or Avercamp.

I guess in no other country in the world could most of the population just happen to have a set of skates at home, just waiting for the occasion.

And I smiled a lot more when I wandered down to the canal-side, because of course if we update those medieval scenes for today’s Utrecht there is no other way to get the skating except to use your bike.

Copyright photo by Kevin Mayne

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