We were first exposed to partying Dutchmen when we met Mark VenHoek in Richmond, Virginia in the mid-90s. Mark was on a work exchange program with Jonathan's father’s company and given that we were about his same age, we hung out a lot with him. In short order, we met many of Mark’s family and friends and began our obsession with all things Dutch. These guys were awesome - very cool and always social, plus they liked food and beer. We were hooked and helped lead the way to our naming Road Holland in their honor.
Mark eventually returned home to Holland to work and start a family but the close friendship continued and we have been there many times as a result. During all of our visits, we noticed how cycling is more than just about the cliché of "suffering." In the Netherlands, everyone young and old rides whether for sport or for transportation. It's a way of life. The country takes it very seriously as well - the bike paths are actually nicer than the roads there! They have stop-lights and medians to keep them separate from car traffic.
We also learned that the Dutch take whatever they do pretty seriously -including knowing how to have a good time. You only have to look at turn 7 of the famous Tour de France Alpe d’Huez climb for proof. In the 1960s, Dutchmen and rabid cycling fan Father Reuten built a church there. His fellow countrymen started to join him each year as he cheered on the climbers and the rest is history. Ask people from the Netherlands and they’ll tell you they own Alpe d’Huez (and it doesn’t hurt that their riders have been pretty successful there).
King’s Day - Monday April 27, 2015 - is another opportunity for the Dutch to show they can party. Held on King Willem-Alexander's birthday, it’s a celebration of all things Dutch and especially orange. For us Americans, King's Day is best described as July 4th combined with St. Patrick’s day. A day for “oranjegekte,” orange madness. As the authoritative Wikipedia says, a day that the “normally strait-laced Dutch let down their hair.”
We can show you great photos of Dutch revelers next week but we’d much rather see you decked out in some orange. Send us your best orange madness photos and we’ll post them to our Facebook page.
It’s your chance to show the world you can party like a Dutchman. Don’t miss it and don't miss our King's Day Sale either, we will be partying like the Dutch until the end of April.
Jonathan and Richard
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