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A Dutch bike ride in Richmond! (You can do it too!)

A Dutch bike ride in Richmond! (You can do it too!)

One of the 400 Dutch bikes sent from Holland to Richmond!
One of the 400 Dutch bikes sent from Holland to Richmond!

Since we’re talking transportation and Olympics this month: did you know you can ride a Dutch bike in Richmond during the Games?

Holland’s national railway has sent 400 Dutch rental bicycles over to Richmond, which will be free for use by the public, athletes, and the staff of Holland Heineken House during the Games. (Holland Heineken House is the enormous official Dutch pavilion in Richmond – here’s a Vancouver Sun article about it!)

I was lucky enough to ride one of the bikes last Saturday, February 6, when the bikes debuted in a public bike ride. A huge number of Metro Vancouver’s Dutch residents turned out to claim a bike and ride it along the new Richmond bike trail near the Olympic Oval. Everyone wore orange vests, the national Dutch colour! Here’s a couple of photos.

These young ladies dressed in Dutch outfits for the ride.
These young ladies dressed in Dutch outfits for the ride.
The start of the Dutch bike ride! It was a bit slow going in the start, but worked out well once we all spread out :)
The start of the Dutch bike ride! It was a bit slow going in the start, but worked out well once we all spread out :)
Riding our Dutch bikes! They were very comfortable to ride, although heavy enough that getting up hills was a bit of a workout.
Riding our Dutch bikes! They were very comfortable to ride, although heavy enough that getting up hills was a bit of a workout.
More cycling on Dutch bikes!
More cycling on Dutch bikes!

And in case you are curious, here is the bike route that we took. The RCMP bike patrol helped stop traffic and keep us all going safely!

We saw an inukshuk made out of shipping containers!
We saw an inukshuk made out of shipping containers!
We rode by the Richmond Oval.
We rode by the Richmond Oval.
Near the Oval, it became clear that you could leave the road and ride up onto the new bike trails running next to the Oval and the UBC Aquatic Centre. This photo is taken from the path, looking at the road alongside.
Near the Oval, it became clear that you could leave the road and ride up onto the new bike trails running next to the Oval and the UBC Aquatic Centre. This photo is taken from the path, looking at the road alongside.
On the way back we spotted a bus from the Olympic bus network.
On the way back we spotted a bus from the Olympic bus network.
We retraced our route as we headed back -- here's a shot of the new separated bike path in the distance.
We retraced our route as we headed back -- here's a shot of the new separated bike path in the distance.
Oh, and after the bike ride I walked over near the Canada Line stations to get home. This art piece is under the guideway south of Lansdowne Station!
Oh, and after the bike ride I walked over near the Canada Line stations to get home. This art piece is under the guideway south of Lansdowne Station!

Plus, here is a video done by the website OranjeinVancouver.com, a Dutch blog about the Vancouver Olympics and Holland! There were some reporters from Dutch media there too, so who knows how far this bike ride was seen :)

I must add that after the bike ride, we were treated to hot chocolate and stroopwafels, delicious Dutch biscuits with caramel-like syrup in the middle. I hope they’ve got more stroopwafels for you to try down at Holland House — they were so good!