When visiting Holland, you must “go Dutch”. And with bikes outnumbering people, I’m not talking splitting the bill. I mean get on a bike. Not just a mode of transportation, but a way of life in Holland, cycling is a great way for visitors to see the Dutch cities and countryside. But before you get on that bike, there are some safety rules to keep in mind to help you better enjoy your cycling experience in Holland.
1. ROAD RULES
Ensure your safety while cycling by using designated bike lanes, following road signs and obeying cycle traffic lights. It’s also important to use hand signals when turning, keep to the left when passing other cyclists and ring your bell to signal your approach.
2. MIGHT IS RIGHT
As a cyclist, you share the road with motorbikes, cars, and trams. They are all faster and bigger and much less vulnerable than you are, as a tourist on a bike. Do not be fooled; if there’s a battle between you and one of them, you’ll lose. Thus it is in your best interest as a cyclist to yield to them.
3. TRAM TRAUMA
Not only should you beware of trams, watch out for those tram tracks as well. If your bike wheels get caught in the tracks it could result in a nasty spill.
4. LOCK AND LOAD
Bike theft is a sport in Holland, with Amsterdam being the world champion. So when you park your bike lock it with two locks: the built-in lock on the back wheels that most bikes come equipped with and a U-Lock that you should attach to the bike frame and something solid, like a light post.
5. THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE
Make sure the lights in the front and back of your bike are on at night. The front light must be white or yellow and the back light red. Not being sufficiently lit can result in a fine.
And a bonus tip that works for cyclists and pedestrians alike…
6. WATCH OUT FOR THE BIKES!!!
The roads in Holland are teeming with motorbikes, cars, and trams. They are all faster and bigger and much less vulnerable than you are, as a tourist and a pedestrian. Do not be fooled; if there’s a battle between you and one of them, you’ll lose. Thus it is in your best interest as a pedestrian to be aware and to yield to them (yes, this is tip # 2 slightly tweaked as a warning to pedestrians. You’re welcome.).
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