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Living in our small town I bike to work. It is only 4km which is a quick bike commute but a bit too long for walking. Most days it is really pleasant to ride to work and back. The upright riding position of the Dutch bike and lack of gears always seems to put a smile on my face. Then the days get cold. People still ride with snow on the ground. On a couple occasions the roads have turned quite icy. I could walk to the train station and then wait and take a train or just walk but I still want to take the bike. It is easier and all the Dutch seem to bike in the snow. So I just get on the bike confident that my excellent bike handling skills will carry my through.

I rode a couple blocks before seeing a girl on the ground with her bike. A guy walking by said something in Dutch that seemed to be about ice and then the next moment I was on the ground with the bike on top of me. Ouch. My arm was bruised but I managed not to get hit by a car. Same thing happened today – same place even! I rode a couple blocks and then – wham! Down on the ground sliding. The road was coated like a froze kipfilet (chicken filet).

I got up and the woman standing there starts talking to me. “Morga morta moarta mor icy something morg a mor”. I smile and reply “Ja, ja”. She says “morga morga” and then walks off. I like conversations like this. I feel proud that I did not let on that I am a stupid American that doesn’t understand Dutch. The rest of my ride was uneventful since most bike paths had grit to make it easier. I even had a smile on my face when I arrived at work.

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