Bike trip to Leiden
Another bike trip? What? Yes… I dared to get on another bike and take it for a ride! An 80 kilometer ride at that! (That’s about 50 miles!)
Heath was at a staff retreat for a couple days with Greenpeace so some fellow partners of GPI employees (Sandy, Todd and Lauren) invited me to take a bike ride to Leiden to the Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Garden) to see the Amorphophallus titanum. The huh? Otherwise known as the corpse plant because it smells like rotting flesh when it blooms. Mmmmm.
Thankfully (for me) the Dutch bike I was borrowing had a flat tire, which we realized before we even started, so Todd kindly let me borrow his bike and he stayed behind. But he owns a Trek 7500. This is all very important to note. Why? Well as you may remember I have not been having very good luck on bikes here. It’s as if I’ve never ridden a bike before. I have simply just fallen off… fell to ground while trying to jump off the back of someone’s bike and have had my knees banged into a parking post while riding on the back. Not cool.
BUT… this time was golden! Not a single accident. And good thing considering this bike is very expensive! So… I have concluded that I don’t do well on the Dutch bikes. They’re awkward. You sit up straight, most have pedal brakes and the handle bars are far apart. Note the differences (and don’t let their smiling faces fool you!):
Typical Dutch bike:
Even if you think I’m ridiculous, I don’t care. I need a reason for my absurdity in not being able to ride a bike and this is it. Anyways… back to the story.
We only took two breaks on the way up there. This was one of them.
Sooo…. here’s the plant. Unfortunately, it wasn’t it’s day to bloom. (Note the wood stake with the markers next to it. It’s tracking the growth. The first marker? May 25th! It grows so quickly!)
Here’s what it looks like when it blooms.
Although we didn’t see this flower in bloom, there were plenty of other plants to see!
It was a beautiful botanical garden. After we were done we went into the city of Leiden and had a snack before the long ride back!
It’s not an illusion… this building is leaning!