Bicycles: You see them everywhere in Amsterdam. Bicycles neatly in racks, bicycles along the canals and bicycles in the canals. Ridden by pregnant women; mothers with children, seated with one upfront and one behind or with four siblings comfortably nestled in a wooden box attached to the front; a small child wobbling with training wheels; a grandfather who has just picked up his daily newspaper; or a student wearing a floral dress and high heels while clutching a pile of books. Bicycles, in tailwind or headwind, no matter what the weather, you’ll see them everywhere.
Cycling is for the Dutch as hand gestures are for the Italians and the tango is for the Argentines: second nature. So, why should you rent a bike during your stay and join the endless procession of two-wheelers? Well…
Firstly, Holland is really flat. Without any steep hills, it’s easy to gain momentum and keep a good tempo going. In a city like Amsterdam, filled with narrow streets and canals, taking the bike is extremely useful. You can quickly get to places, which are nearly impossible to reach by car. There are bicycle paths practically everywhere and, should you wish to take a short cut, you can quickly nip across the road or sidewalk. Weary of pedestrians? Don’t worry, just ring your bell loudly and they’ll swiftly jump out of your way.
Once you have reached your destination, climb off and just lean your bike against a railing on a bridge or along a canal (Don’t forget to use your padlock, otherwise you’ll have to walk back!). Now, you’re immediately ready to explore. No searching for a parking spot or having to awkwardly parallel park, the bicycle is indeed a timesaver. Should you wish to cruise through Amsterdam like a real local, then start by purchasing an old and slightly rusted bike from a second hand dealer. Decorate it with a garland of fake daisies and finish the look by attaching a wooden crate for your groceries. Because yes, real ‘Amsterdammers’ do their groceries by bike too.
What makes the 'iron horse' perhaps the biggest success in Holland is that there is no need to fill up it up. Extremely economical, all it needs is muscle power. Perfect for sculpting those beautiful calves and buttocks.
Get your bike on:
- www.yellowbike.nl offers interesting bike tours and all necessary information for renting a bike.
- www.guidedbiketoursamsterdam.com offers a great bicycle route through the Jordan and various other bike tours.
- www.local-experts.com/amsterdam offers bike tours through both the old and new parts of Amsterdam.