Bicycling is popular in Holland. Besides the Dutch people, even the country’s PM, Mark Rutte, frequently pedals his way to meeting locations. The fact that cycling is entrenched in Dutch society is unsurprising given how flat much of the nation is. Over 4 million Dutch people cycle daily, but a more interesting fact is that the number of bicycles exceeds the population of the Netherlands. The nation has 22.8 million bicycles for 17.1 million inhabitants.
Almost every Dutch person cycles assertively, and they go at a good speed near to one another. They tend to ignore stop lights, leave subsidiary streets without paying attention, and yell “yes, hello!” in Dutch angrily when others inadvertently enter the bicycle lane. They also tend to park their bicycle amid the pavement along a bustling Dutch shopping street.
To cycle around Amsterdam, it takes some practice to operate at the maximum possible speed or the locals’ speed. Much of poor bicycling seen amid the city is performed by those who may be not all that used to doing this activity in a metropolis. Everyone including those people, who take an Amsterdam bike tour, should be equipped to deal with the challenges that the Dutch traffic pose.
Any bicyclist should do the following always.
- Adhere to the Dutch traffic rules;
- Look out for pedestrians, trams and other automobiles on the road; and,
- Cross the tramways carefully.
The Netherlands has different forms of cycle lanes; their signs can be seen on the roadway, or these can be separated from the pavement and road. These are generally one-way, but dashed lines amid the road are a sign that travel is permitted in both ways. You have to use signals with hand when you turn right or left and are surrounded by others on the road. Unless signed in other ways, priority is offered to traffic that comes from your right. Remember, you need both a back light and front light when visibility is poor or light condition is dark.
The locals are not obsessed about safety and health, and they seldom wear helmets when riding bicycles. However, most motorists have an excellent awareness of bicyclists, and these car drivers yield the right-of-way where necessary.
Almost every basic Dutch bicycle has one gear and coaster brakes. It can take some time to be accustomed to these brakes for those bicyclists who are used to standard brakes applied by hand. Numerous secure bicycle parking facilities are there in the Netherlands, with locations amid Amsterdam center at Pathé De Munt and Paradiso. Beyond Amsterdam Centraal station, there is a popular three-floor facility (fietsflat in Dutch) that can store up to 2,500 bicycles.
When parking your bicycle on the Dutch street, lock the front wheel and frame at all times against a railing post, or cycle rack. Those that own a bicycle have to buy a good pair of locks for this.
New bicycles will cost you €600 on an average. A fine second-hand bicycle can cost between €100 and €250 in the Netherlands. If you want a more affordable bike, then look for one in the Waterlooplein market. You can also rent one if owning it is not something you would like during a short stay in Amsterdam city.
Bicycle Rental in the Dutch Capital
Renting a bicycle is a straight forward process; a back-pedal model with one gear will cost you €10 or so for 24 hours. There are cheaper per day prices to be had for those who rent for a group trip or longer period. Insurance will cost you about €3 extra for each day, and it is worth taking to be free of worry and anxiety about things like theft.
You will often have to leave some form of identification, a safety deposit or credit card authorization with rental companies. Some rentals mark their bicycles with logos, but others offer unmarked products.
There are many rentals around Amsterdam, which offer competitive rates and sometimes even delivery to the customer’s place of stay. Some offer bicycle trips with a local tour guide to boot. Taking such a trip can be an excellent way to explore the city.
Amsterdam Is Planning Big with Bicyclists in Mind
The Netherlands capital recently released its ambitious plan, focusing on improving cycle parking and infrastructure by 2022. The city is making royal routes in order to accommodate much more bikes than today. To minimize stress in rush hour, it is widening bicycle tracks to over 8 feet and building new low-speed bicycle avenues. It is also redesigning main crossroads for more protected bicycling space. As of now, it is one of the world’s most-bicycle-friendly cities. However, these planned changes implements would make it even more convenient and easier for bicyclists to travel in the capital city.