If you’re not familiar with this ‘Dutch Reach’, join the rest of the Netherlands. But you’re living here now amigo and it’s high time you learned what it’s all about.
Firstly though, I’d like to state (even if it’s only to set the record straight with a female Dutch friend) that it’s not a sexual position involving stroopwafel, a dimly lit room and Andres Hazes in the background. With a little imagination, perhaps it could be – but let’s not get distracted.
What Is The ‘Dutch Reach’?
No, the original ‘Dutch Reach’ doesn’t at all allude to the act of creating life, but rather saving it. The ‘Dutch Reach’ is, in fact, the name for a technique in which opening one’s car door is performed so as not to maim passing cyclists. Essentially, you reach over with the hand furthest from the handle, which encourages you to twist your body and look over your shoulder to check for passing bike traffic. Rather considerate I think, taking into account that in the battle of rider versus metal door, metal door packs a Richel Hersisia-esque punch. What makes the ‘Dutch Reach’ even more important is that the Dutch aren’t massive fans of helmets. Hey, at least you can protect your delicate body from injury by softening the impact with your supple cranium… or not.
Why Haven’t My Dutch Friends Heard Of It?
Ask most people in the Netherlands however about the internationally renowned ‘Dutch Reach’ and you’ll probably get the same coy response I received from the aforementioned Dutch friend. Truth is, the ‘Dutch Reach’ isn’t that popular and is barely practiced. And even though it’s apparently compulsory to demonstrate the ‘Dutch Reach’ (once again, we talking about the car door opening technique) during your driver’s exam, I’m at a loss as to whether or not this is true.
Settling The ‘Dutch Reach’ Once And For All
So please, enlighten me. I know in the UK and USA, ‘Dooring’ as it’s called when you take someone out on a bicycle with your door, is a major problem. For the sake of mankind, let’s get to the bottom of this once and for all. Do you guys actually practice what you reach or are you venerable Dutchies getting credit for something you didn’t actually invent? Let’s settle this once and for all.
Do you do the Dutch reach? Had you ever heard of it before? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 7 2017, but was updated for your reading pleasure on October 11 2019.
Feature image: Richard Drdul/Flickr