Bicycle - Cycling, Amsterdam
Maybe the biggest parking problem in Amsterdam is not where to park your car, but where to park your bicycle.
The multi story bicycle garage is one of the most photographed building, due to its unique nature, but did you notice the floating bicycle parking?
Most local look for a place where they can double chain their bikes; yes, bicycle theft is a big problem.
Bikes are everywhere in Amsterdam and there are many of them. It's easy to navigate through the narrow streets with a bicycle, but it also it looks like natural habit for the Dutch to ride a bike. Be aware for high speed cyclists.
There are many bicycle rental shops in the city, and the price is not too expensive. They require a deposit or your passport.
A good way to get around in Amsterdam is by bike, that way you have the upper hand on the pedestrians. Do make sure you are a competant cyclist, to avoid a nasty accident, as there is nothing more fustration for the dutch then to be stuck behind someone going at snails pace.
Various places rent bikes charge rates on a sliding scale the more days you hire for.
3 Speed bike Euro 13.50 - 15.50 24hr bike city
Euro 43.50 - 45.50 5 days
68-70 Bloemgracht 1015
+31 (020) 6263721
Euro 9.50 - 14.25 Mac bike
Euro 26 - 39 5 days
Weteringschaans 2, Leidseplein
+31 (020) 6200985
It is a fact, the Dutch is bicycle nation, bicycling is a way of life for most Dutch citizens. Most Amsterdammers doesn't own a car but Netherlands 16,5 million residents managed to have 16 million bicycles.
On the narrow streets it is possible to deliver whole serious things with a bicycle. With them it is possible to ride everywhere; there is more bicycle route, than neat road in Amsterdam.
Also tourists may lend a bike. The highlight of your stay at Amsterdam will have been your rental of one of them; -- shiny wet cobblestones, driving up a bridge and down the other side, hearing bells from passing bikes and ringing your bell to pass others.
You get anywhere in your neighborhood faster than others could get their cars started and out of the garage. And you can get across town faster than a taxi or tram. Biking is the way to go here. It is a sadly fact, however, there are more bikes stolen per year as there are bikes in the city! Lock your bike!!
In the multi-storey bicycle container of the central station some one hundred thousand bikes find enough room. However, it should be a real man, who can find his own one.
Bicycle rentals are easy throughout the city.
Some reliably rental service:
Bike City, 68 - 70 Bloemgracht, tram Nr.10 stop Bloemgracht or tram Nr.13 - 14- 17 stop Westermarkt
Open 7 days a week from 9am till 6pm.
Rental rates €14,50/day, but the longer you rent, the better the deal you get.
Website: http://www.bikecity.nl/ Tel. +31 (0)20 626 37 21
FREDERIC RENTABIKE : Brouwergracht 78., between Herengracht and Keizersgracht, from Central Station about 10 minutes walking
Rental rates €10/day
Tel: +31 20 6245509
Cycling is a popular form of transport in Holland.
In Amsterdam it is easy to go on bike through the narrow streets.
Rent a bike and explore on your own. It’s more fun than taking the trams and it beats walking.
Cycling can be a good way to avoid traffic. Your bike can be parked easily at most places. But be sure to lock it.
Bikes can be rented at train stations or various places in the city centre.
Mike bikes is a reliable company that rents bikes.
Cost €7,00 a day + €3,00 theft insurance.
Adres: Kerkstraat 134 EB Amsterdam
They also give daily tours of the city and surrounding areas (March – Nov).
This is something that I wanted to do and didnt get a chance to do this time. We will be back next year and I will probably go ahead and rent a bike to get around. Bikes are everywhere. When you cross the street you have to not only watch out for cars but for bikes. Also if you rent a bike remember where you park it and good luck. There are bikes everywhere.
Here are some interesting factsthat I found out:
There are 600,000 bikes in Amsterdam.
Each household averages about 4 bicycles.
There are at least 500 bikes that are stolen a day.
Amsterdam is a perfect place for a stag weekend. Maybe you will find some different things to do on this web-site. Check for instance the getting around page and you will see different an surprising ways to get around the city. www.amsterdam-holland-guide.com
kind regards Charlotte
See http://www.yellowbike.nl/en/ and note:
"A lot of hotels work together with the Yellow Bike delivery service. Order your bike at the reception and your bike will be there early in the morning before 9.00h. Easy as it is: no need to go out looking for a rental point, no waiting, no leaving your identity card and no extra costs. Ask your reception for the Yellow Bike Hotelservice"
This website also offers two cycling routes that start daily at 11 am. One in the city of Amsterdam, the other a Countryside tour.
While touring across on foot, I came across this scene many a times. Tourists on yellow bicycles. I believe renting a bicycle is a good way of exploring the city. I am afraid of riding a bicycle though because of my vision problem.
I haven't hired myself a bicycle in Amsterdam; I used the canal boats and my feet instead. The traffic -even bicycle traffic- looked so skilled and hectic that I wouldn't have dared that time.
In Amsterdam there are specific areas/lines painted on the streets that are meant for those with bicycles.
Some of them - almost all of them - seem to go so fast. And one thing to remember - in this city it doesn't mean you are simple or poor if you just use your bicycle. It belongs to the city; its streets are narrow, those with bicycle are thinking people. I guess they get where they want faster than the others.
I enjoyed just watching this "art". And I would also call it art how some people marked their bicycles...or what would you say about this one in the picture? So Dutch...
According to a recent Gallup the Dutch feel very positive about cars (86%) and bicycles (84%). They are only 26% to feel positive about public transport.
Cycling is cheap, reliable (arriving on time). The problems are the bad weather (rain and wind) and the parking difficulties (look around the stations!) and bad driving cyclists.
In 2005 all Dutch drove 14 milliard (billion) Km. The Netherlands produced 967 thousand bicycles in 2006.
From my recent 5 day stay in Amsterdam it seems to me that their positive look at bicycles is forced by the politics imposing a ban on car traffic in this city. Walking in the residential area around the Museum Kwartier, which is not in the centre, I saw that parking on the street costs about 3 €/hour, about 25 € for 24 hours, even at night you have to pay for the parking! The residents pay a quarterly fee of 80 € I was told.
With such anti car tolls it is understandable that the Amsterdammers favour cycling.
What surprised me is that they don't wear protection helmets, fluorescent jackets or even anti rain clothes. I must say they are very skilful drivers, I saw no incident at all.
They don't mind about the rain for themselves or for their bikes which are parked outside day and night. Most bikes are somewhat rusty and you won't see expensive sport models. Interesting are the "bakfietsen = cargo bikes" with a large wooden box at the front wheel. This box is loaded with children and shopping.
A good point of all that biking is that there are no fat Amsterdammers, they are all slim and have muscled legs.
Personal experience of mine. If you are riding your bicycle in the middle of a small group of about 30 riders and you want to turn left or right - good luck. There are ways of doing it; I have personally seen it done with no injuries, but when I tried it... And guess who the other fallen riders get mad at? And they can swear in English, Dutch, German, French, and probably a couple of other languages. I didn't understand all of it, but it was obvious that I was the object of the well-deserved abuse. If you don't know how to negotiate turns, the safest transportation is walking. I don't think that Amsterdam is the safest place to relearn the art survival on two wheels. (I would have included a picture of the mess, but I was the one at the bottom of the pile.)
If you like to cycling, this is the right place. Bicycles and the drivers of them enjoys their privileges in Amsterdam.
The photo has some parked bicycles by the road. On the other side of the road there is a huge multi-storey bicycle parking lot. How could they find their bike in this mess?
As a person who does not believe in bicycles (I do not accept that I cannot ride one, I just do believe that "two points do not describe a plane") I felt myself in a fantastic city with alternative dimensions. I even saw ladies riding their bicycles with silk stockings! I cannot walk safely with silk stockings and high heels!!!
Seeing all these bikes in Amsterdam makes me feel like being in Beijing. SO many bikes it's incredible. Along the city you will see bikes parking here and there...simply everywhere. It's cheap, non polluted and esp. nice in the sunny days...so why not right? As a tourist, you can rent a bike and go around town with it as well. Easy to notice, the bikes for rent are different in red color...you'll notice it.
The major mode of travel in and around Amsterdam is the bicycle. To those who have not been in cities heavily populated with bicycles it can be somewhat challenging. Most people are tuned to look both ways for automobiles, but not behind them on the right and left for bicycles. For tourists in Amsterdam this can be a real problem. People who are not accustomed to pedestrian AND bicycle lanes don't think about which lane they are in. That can lead to an emergency room visit for the unsuspecting. The bicycle rider has a warning bell on his handle bars, but when he rings the bell, he has no idea ow which way the pedestrian will jump. It's called, "Take your best guess and pray." "Oops." It can take a long time to learn about bicycles or a short time. The harder the pedestrian is hit, the faster the learning process. One also has the rider to worry about because they can get hurt too, and guess who has the right-of-way? Right! The pedestrian doesn't if he is in the bike lane. If that is you, it will be a "bought" lesson. There are 5 rules:
1. Look left, right, and behind you, especially on your right side.
2. Bicycles traveling at at 15mph exert more force (and damage, of course) than you do at walking speed.
3. Bicycles have right of way, period.
4. It is always good to check your map or guidebook well away from ANY kind of traffic.
Since you are still reading, I may as well recommend seeing Amsterdam by bike. It is character-building but fun. In fact, take a bike tour with Mike's Bikes. The tours are easy, and the most fun, I have found. They will also teach you the "rules of the road" in Amsterdam. Have a ball!
Note: After looking at the pictures of the parked bikes, remember that there are another 100,000 or so being pedaled too.