Fietsen (bicycles) are essential in Holland. Just about everyone rides and will do most of their daily commute and errands on their fiets. Mothers will ride around with two children (one child seat mounted just behind the handle bar, another child seat mounted on the back), "saddle bags" (mounted under the rear child seat and falling on either side of the rear tire) full of groceries, and a front-mounted rack or basket with more stuff. A Google Image search for "moeder+fiets" shows all sorts of elaborate setups mothers use to get around. It's a little crazy to watch these women balance so much stuff on two wheels but it's not too surprising seeing as children ride around on "two-wheelers" as young as 4 years old.
Our neighborhood in particular is difficult to access by car, but the cycling paths take you to every part of the Reeshof, and everywhere else. This weekend, we were able to purchase our own. The experience was especially exciting since neither Poppa or Mama has had a brand-spanking-out-of-the-box new bike since we were in grade school. The helpful staff at Giga Bikes walked us through their selection and we picked out two fietsen that are perfect for us.
And, of course, we got decked out. Poppa got saddle bags and a travel clipping bag (modified for our own purposes) for his fiets and Mama got saddle bags (no smirking, thank you) and a rack for the front - all coordinating, of course. Little Man has a Yepp Maxi seat that allows us to move him between us without much effort. We each have a mount on the seatpost and Little Man's seat moves between us. Yepp is a Dutch company, but we had the same system in Chicago well before Tilburg was a possibility. In Chicago, easy seat removal was important for storing the bikes and seat in an apartment. In Tilburg, it's especially nice to play "pass the dude" on weekend excursions.
We're happy with our purchases and glad to move around a little more like the locals. Now we just have to see what the craziest thing is that we can carry home on our new wheels (Little Man excluded).
Mama's Fiets & Little Man's Yepp Seat
Purple Montego with teal/sea foam green bags and a sea foam green rack. Little Man's blue seat (picked out by Himself)
Silver, blue and black Montego with blue bags