Originally Posted by Rango
Yes, makes sense to me. Absolutely.
What's also defining our riding perspective and experience is the layout of the region. When destinations are spread thin long rides are considered normal. When as is the case in densely populated areas they are close together the rides may be short but as the moving speed drops drastically a simple city hop of barely 40km easily feels like an expedition.
What I loved about Friesland was the open space between the villages. However short the distance, there were still wide open vistas, skyscapes and dramatic cloud configurations.
Can't quite work out where you're based... but the biggest difference I found in North America is the relatively direct routes on the nice wide highways/interstates - besides the trip above, I've also travelled to Land's End, the furthest you can go west in Great Britain, which coincidentally is within 20 miles of the distance to my family in the Nederlands, about 375 miles each way. The continent has some excellent big roads but the UK's road system has its roots in the medieval days and has never been advanced much since - Land's End felt like it was twice the journey, with divided motorways merging (bottlenecking) to 2 lanes every 2 miles it felt... would have been easier without the panniers but it was bloody tight getting through at times!
Fortunately there is plenty to explore within 40 miles of home and we do have a good number of BOATs (byways open to all traffic) that are dirt/gravel tracks and classed as public highways by the government, complete with random road signs. Which means the same laws apply as any asphalt roads and technically roadside assistance are meant to change your tyre for you even though there's no way they'd get in on many of them!