It’s official: people with arthritis should travel to and through Europe by boat. It’s not a very joint-friendly continent. Last week we were over in Basel, Switzerland, meeting with our friends at Roche about some fun projects. After 3 days of walking and touring and sight-seeing, I was ready to collapse. My ankles, knees and hips felt as though they’d spontaneously quit working, “on strike” for higher wages and better medicine.

Which was somewhat of a bummer – especially when this so-called joint-strike came around the time I was free to roam around Holland in the days leading up to our trip to Basel. I think what kept me from going over the edge was my amazement of how handicap-un-friendly Europe is (for the most part). Old school towns and areas with cobblestone paths and extraordinarily narrow passageways. And most noticeably, the airports had no golf carts shuttling around the extremely obese (some things you just don’t miss about America…). Instead, for the most part, everyone was mobile, happy and more-or-less in shape. So weird!

The best I could come up with was the fact that everyone bikes from A to B in Europe. Like literally, everyone. Thousands of bikes line the streets in most, if not all cities. And where there aren’t any bikes, you can bet that the nearest suburban metro stop has those thousands of bikes waiting for the masses after rush-hour. It definitely made me curious about my own bicycle tendencies: as in I haven’t ridden a bike since about the year 1989. Unicycle…different story; but maybe I should quietly look into bike riding more often? Exclusively in Central Park, so as to not land on the hood of the cross-town bus. Which, let’s face it, would be just my luck. Only I would hop on (the hood of) the express bus.