I have to confess, I do not know how to bike. I have never had a bike in my life. I am from a big city with no bike lanes. Having biking skills back at home was not necessary. I took subway all the time. If not, I could use all the other means of transport.
Here, in a small German town I feel different. Bus service is the only public transport that is available. This month, I finally got a bus pass (for about EUR 37). Before that, I had to buy a single trip ticket or a 4 trip ticket all the time. There is one bus stop by the place I live and a bus comes only twice per hour. For this reason, when I have a meeting, I usually end up having two options: either to be too early or to be a bit late.
More than often, biking is more convenient in Germany than taking a bus. As a rule, all the Germans know how to bike. Similar to the Netherlands, there is a cycling exam that children take at the age of 12-13. People here are surprised to find out I do not know how to bike. They look at me as if I was from the city by the sea and told them I do not know how to swim. It seems to be weird for them.
Sometimes, I cannot participate in certain activities. Let’s say, if someone asks me to cycle to a lake close by, I have to say no. I feel limited.
If I knew how to bike, I could save some time and money. Also, I could avoid some stares while walking on a street. Literally, just few people go on foot here. Every day, when I go to a supermarket I pass empty streets. People take a bus or go by car/by bicycle. Seeing someone actually walking a long distance is not that common here (so it seems to me, at least).
At the end of the day, I still find bikes are not very comfortable and I do not want to learn how to cycle. I definitely prefer to go on foot. Let it be strange for most of the people, I do not care. This part of a German lifestyle is not for me.:)