It has been nearly two years since I was in Amsterdam on business, and [re]discovered that I am one of their kind. "Whenever I am in Holland the culture embraces me with its familiarity." A year later I revisited and reconfirmed that feeling... I was still one of their kind. And sometimes it just happens that I am reminded.
Last night it was cold and rainy and windy, and yet somehow I felt like riding. I put on a bunch of clothes, grabbed my mountain bike, and took off into the stormy dark for a blustery two-hour battle with the elements. It was great. The water coming up from my front tire was illuminated by my blinking headlight, giving the illusion of sparks flying. I could barely see, the wind and rain combining to create a mist through which lights appeared as smudgy halos. I opted to go without iPod - too much water, but also, the sound of rain and wind was soothing. The whole experience was wonderful.
And so I think back and reflect on how much the Dutch love cycling, in their cold and rainy and windy country. It might seem a paradox since the conditions are so imperfect. And yet, there is a simple joy to the man-against-the-elements act of cycling in a storm.
I believe I am still one of their kind.