Underhay Fever Dream

We are on day ten of our European odyssey, and we’ve already cycled in three countries.

Lisa and I used the Malmö city bike scheme to make a run to the art supply store; in Copenhagen we rented bicycles for three of us to ride from the city centre to the Experimentarium science museum; here in Hilversum we rented bikes for three days to commute to and from the printing studio (a plan that contracted yesterday when we woke up to driving rain and no rain gear, and took a cab instead).

In all three cities the infrastructure for bicyclists is awe-inspiring by Charlottetown standards: near-universal completely separate lanes for cars, bicycles, and pedestrians; bicycle parking everywhere; plenty of bicycle repair shops; a sharing and yielding system that appears to work like a ballet.

In each city I achieved a sort of Borg-like flow state as I cycled symphonically in a community of cyclists. I cannot help but think of the late Josh Underday’s dream for an interconnected network of bicycle routes crisscrossing Charlottetown.

It’s easy to get ground down by public (works) intransigence and imagine the dream to be impossible; until you see the dream functioning, in city after city, and realize it simply takes imagination, courage, and tenacity to achieve.