Bicycle - Cycling, Amsterdam
There are several bike rental companies in Amsterdam.
To name a few there is Macbike at Central Station (CS); Bike City at Bloemgracht 70; Rent-A-Bike-Damstraat at Damstraat 20 and Frédéric Rent a Bike at Brouwersgracht 78 (about a 10 minute walk from CS).
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.
With over half a million bicycles, cycling is the preferred method of transportation in Amsterdam. There is a very well developed web of bike roads complete with street signs and stoplights, and everything within the canal belt is within 10 minutes by bike.
You can join in the fun by renting a bike for the day, or for the week at one of the many bike rental shops around. Don’t forget to lock your bike. Over 200,000 bikes are stolen every year!
If you do not want to walk around all day the City Centre of Amsterdam then consider renting a bicycle. Amsterdam is probably the most bicycle friendly city in the world. Each city street has a bicycle lane and with the narrowness of the Amsterdam streets, this is a good alternative to cars. The city is also very flat so one can ride around with out much difficulty as there are no hills to climb and tucker yourself out. This also presents a problem, in my eyes anyway. There are almost too many bikes on the streets of Amsterdam. You have to watch where you are walking or you might walk head on into a bike as they wizz by with great speed. Try not to walk on the designated bicycle lanes at all. Oddly enough in terms of bicycle safety, Amsterdam rates way behind by home town of Toronto. No one here wears a bike helmet, something that strongly encouraged by the local authorities in Toronto.
Amsterdam is one of the most Bicycle friendly cities in the World and is a centre of bicycle culture with good facilities for cyclists such as bike paths and bike racks,and several guarded bike storage garages.In 2006 there were over 465,000 bicycles in the city,theft unfortunately is widespread with an average of 50,000 bicycles missing each year.Bicycles are used by all socio-economic groups because of their convenience,Amsterdam's small size,the 400km of bike paths,the flat terrain and the arguable inconvenience of driving a car.
There are lots of bike rental shops throughout the city and the suburbs,some can be rented for as little as a few Euros a day.One of the best rated is right in the heart of the city.See address,telephone no.and website below.
Bike city,68-70 Bloemgracht,1015 TL,Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a city with cyclists galore: people cycle to work, to school and to the shops. The couriers use bikes, as do the police and delivery boys. There are pedal boats, and, of course, tourists go about on bikes. It may be puzzling to foreign visitors, but for the true-blue Amsterdam people, it is the most logical means of transport, including bank managers and yuppies. Amsterdam, after all, is not built for cars. The 17th-century inner city was built for pedestrians and the narrow streets and canals do not allow for a smooth flow of cars, let alone offer sufficient parking space. The city is flat and compact, the maximum distance in the inner city approximately five kilometres; an ideal distance to bridge by bike. For this reason, some forty per cent of al traffic movements in Amsterdam is by bicycle. This is far more than in other Northern-European cities. No wonder that the 730,000 people who live in Amsterdam own no less than approximately 600,000 bicycles.
Amsterdam has been a great city for bikes since the end of the 19th century. As elsewhere, the bike became less popular as the popularity of the car grew. In Amsterdam, however, the bicycle came back with a vengeance and is used extensively. In the citys battle to limit the use of cars, the city council has even developed an extensive bike stimulation programme. An extensive network of safe, fast and comfortable bicycle routes has been developed, the road safety of cyclists has been increased, a theft-prevention programme was set up, the number of bicycle sheds was increased, etc.
The bicycle offers foreign guests, and less experienced cyclists, an adventurous way to explore the city and surroundings. There are special bicycle routes, guided cycle tours and, of course, lots of places to rent bikes from. In Amsterdam you can even cycle on the water. And you know what: on a bike each tourist feels a little like a local.
I have never seen so many people cycling in a city as in Amsterdam. Bikes are everywhere and provide a quick way to navigate the city. We rented bikes on the last day - there are various rental shops all over the city. Most require a deposit or your passport and rates vary depending on what type of bike you want and how long you want it for. The cheapest place I saw was on Bloemnstraat near Anne Frank huis (6.75 for a day) though we rented them from a shop in Brouwersgracht near the station (10 Euros per day).
In the picture Ruth is thinking - 'He can't really be cycling at full speed and looking the wrong way!!'
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.
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
Such a common scene: a bike parked against a railing, a sign, a tree etc. Everywhere you look in Amsterdam there are bicycles. What a great mode of transportation. But the natives are professional when it comes to navigating the tight streets, avoiding traffic and yielding to clueless pedestrians. I, myself, would not be tempted to get on a bike in Amsterdam--it might be the last anyone ever saw of me.
“A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.”
— Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536, Dutch priest, teacher, author and theologian)
Bicycle riding is a habit in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Since before the Second World War it has been so. The bike has been called “the most Dutch of all vehicles.” More people in Amsterdam choose to go by bike than by automobiles.
As Amsterdam’s population grew and the city expanded, the bicycle played a major role. Housing could be built outside the city center and residents could use bikes to commute to jobs in the historic part of town.
Today, it is a way of life and there is a decreasing reliance on automobiles throughout Dutch urban centers. Everyone rides a bike in Amsterdam, young and old, men and women; even Her Majesty Queen Beatrix bicycles!
Do pay attention for cars and for bikes when crossing streets. For those of us not accustomed to bicyclists whizzing by at top speeds, the presence of bikes as a serious transportation option and just a quaint recreational choice will take some adjustment.
wow i have never seen so many bicycles in my life, and everyone has one! this city is built with the bikers in mind they have their own lanes,turn signals, and even parking garages. the dutch are very good on those bikes to, i saw several occasions where someone would step out into the bike path and the biker would swerve to miss without crashing. i also was impressed at the fact that unlike americans the dutch can do up to 3 things while navagating the streets. unlike americans who can hardly handle the driving part by itself.
Time for a photo opportunity - this is the multi-storey bicycle park, just to the west of Centraal Station, viewed across the harbour from Prins Hendrikkade.
As a cyclist myself I loved Amsterdam for its bicycle culture. Bikes are everywhere, outside every shop, cafe and used as the normal from of transport. It is amusing to watch the cyclists on their big bicycles, bobbing like clockwork machines as they strain to cycle over the steep canal bridges.
Even so, what annoyed me was the way cyclists rarely stop at red traffic signals. So if the 'green man' is showing, make sure there are no bikes approaching before you step into the road.
It is a well-known fact that if a car hits a cyclist, it is ALWAYS the drivers fault, according to Amsterdam law. So if you hire a bike you will be treated with respect! There are plenty of places to hire bikes. One place we found on Nieuwezijds Voorrburgwal, north of Dam Square, charged only 9 euros for 24 hours - a bargain - and I think this is a fairly typical price in the city.
Are you going on a cycling holiday, and would like to cover some parts of the route by train? It is often possible. So in addition to a ticket for yourself, you buy one for your bike as well.
You can hire a bike at 100 stations in the Netherlands by the day (NLG 10) or by the week (NLG 50). And the deposit.
The most obvious way to get around Amsterdam, is by bicycle! That's how everyone gets around anyway, but only do so if you're confident on a bike, and will feel safe, but they have their own lane, so it should be ok! Otherwise, a quicker way is by using the tram. They are frequent, fast and cheap! They stop running at midnight. You can buy a ticket either from the driver himself, or from a tobacco stall or from the Centraal Station. An example of a trip from Leidseplein to Centraal Station only costed Euro 1.40.