10 Safe Cycling Tips
Do you want to explore the city like a real local? Go for it! Cycling is fun, efficient, easy and safe. Motorists here know how to make room for cyclists, so they will take you into account... most of the time. We've created these 10 simple rules for you to follow. Follow all 10 and you should be fine. Happy cycling!
1. Don't act like the Dutchies
You'd think the locals would set a perfect example for city cycling, right? Think again. A lot of Dutchies don't give right of way, they jump red lights and cycle in pedestrian areas. But let's face it: their behaviour is based on years and years of cycling experience.
2. Use the cycle lane on the right-hand side of the road
You can recognise a cycle lane ('fietspad') by its reddish colour, white lines, and bike symbols. They were specially made for cyclists, which means the footpaths, shopping streets, pavements, and motorways are not. It's as easy as that! You can also tell a bicycle lane by these signs:
3. Always give right of way
Give way to all traffic approaching from the right, unless otherwise indicated. Traffic from your left-hand side should give you right of way, but it doesn't always happen like that. Don't put on that party hat too quickly: never take right of way for granted!
4. Indicate where you're going
You should always indicate before changing direction. If you want to turn a corner, first look behind you, then stick out your arm, pointing in the direction you want to go. Is it busy? Getting off your bike and walking across the road might be the best (read: safest) plan.
5. Turn on your light
It's a good idea to check your headlight and taillight after dark. This way cars, taxis, trams, and buses will be able to see you, and no-one gets hurt. Not only that, but if you're caught riding at night without them you can end up with hefty fine, and nobody wants that.
6. Always lock your bike
You don't want to go home without a bike. So never ever ever leave your bike unlocked. And please make sure you lock it to something unmovable, like a tree, lamppost, or bike rack.
7. Check where you park
Be careful where you park your bike... If you park in the wrong spot (usually marked with this sign) you can get fined, or even worse, there's a chance your bike will be towed. If this happens to a rented bike, you will get charged a re-collection fee.
8. Don't drink and drive
Yes, this also applies to cycling!
9. Flat tire?
Head to the nearest bike shop ('fietsenmaker') or simply ask someone for a bicycle pump ('fietspomp'). Most locals have one. If you're already close by, just walk your bike back to the hostel. We'll be happy to fix it for you. Whatever you do, always bring your bike back, and don't leave it downtown.
10. Enjoy the ride!
Time to hop on that bike and explore the area. Enjoy the ride!