How the Dutch learn to ride a bicycle
This is Noah. I met Noah and his very proud father in a chance encounter very briefly just outside of Den Haag Centraal Station yesterday on my way home. Noah convinced me to change my mind and to turn my camera back on, because at age two, Noah has mastered the skill of riding a bicycle.
When I met Noah, I'd had already earlier decided I was done photographing for the day and was steadfastly en-route home, but as I saw Noah and his father coming towards me at an approaching intersection, I was so impressed right away with Noah's riding skills, I couldn't pass up the photo-op. I had to pause and ask his father if I could quickly grab his photo and he was happy to oblige and even attempted guide him towards my lens for a photo. Little Noah was all to eager to just GO in any direction his father pointed him too, and sometimes a bit more. ;-)
But the real surprise came when Noah's father pulled out his mobile to show me some videos of a recent visit to a skater park, where Noah was all too keen to quickly take to his own on the quarter- and half-pipes. From what I could see in videos, Noah showed no fear at the skater park and appeared to be out to find bigger challenges to face and overcome on his little bike. And then his father told me Noah was only two years old, and already insists on going everywhere on his bicycle. As I talked to his father further, Noah pushed himself back and forth in front of us, showing how he could lift both feet off the ground as he rode. I was amazed that at two years old, he'd already masterfully conquered the "balance challenge" many of us face when first learning to ride a bicycle.
I wanted to stay and find out more about Noah and his love for his bicycle, but I felt my destination calling me and knew I needed to thank his father and move on. But as I walked away, I found myself looking behind me, trying to get one more last look at little Noah as he continued to zip back and forth on his bicycle, reminding me that he mastered the bicycle at 1/3rd the age I was when I learned to ride a bike.
And there's thousands more like him every day.
That is just one of the few ways, and at what point in their youth, the Dutch learn to ride a bicycle.