Amazingly, I wasn't in Holland, or Paris, or Copenhagen. I was in Scotland, about 50 miles from Edinburgh, in Elie.
Elie's a little seaside village, popular with tourists, and even more popular as a holiday home or vacation spot for the well-heeled. But the narrow-crowded streets make driving a nightmare, so families bring their bikes, or rent bikes for the duration of their holiday, and cycle back and forth to the beach, golf courses, and tennis courts. I particularly liked the moment I peered around a narrow corner and was confronted by 3 lads in wetsuits and flipflops, cycling along casually with their phones out, while a car waited patiently behind them. Or looking out the window as it got dark, to see the cheeky grin of the 8 year old staying below us, who had cycled home at 10pm, and had clearly left his parents some way back with his little sister.
Elie is a privileged space, and perhaps not easily replicated outside Centre Parks, but it was nonetheless immensely refreshing to see that *in the right space* parents were willing to hop on their bikes, let their kids have some freedom, and leave their cars at home.