The main problem of course is: I keep bumping into things - lamposts, trees, other people, THUNK, such is life,..but bollards are the worst!!!
I'd rather fall into the canal as that would cause far less tears ;)
This is a guote from my guidebook about Amsterdam. I think I read it on the plane to Holland and it comes from the part about using bicycles: 'It is necessary ALWAYS to put a pedlock on the bike. Theft is a real plague in Amsterdam. You can often see parts of bicycles attached with chains to metal fences or poles...' The picture I present here could be a perfect illustration to this 'word of warning', as it was titled in the guidebook.
No, this number is not the amount of bicycles that go by any choosen place in Amsterdam, it's the amount of bicycles that get stolen every year! So, when you rent a bike or drive your own through town, take care that you have an appropriate lock and lock the bike together with a lanternpost, trafficsignpool or a fence on one of the thousand bridges in town. There are enough students that have bikes that cost less then the lock they bought.
Amsterdam is a very flat, compact city so cycling is a very popuular mode of transport, much more so than in most other cities.
The cyclists have right of way and, of course, their vehicles are silent - so they can come upon you without any warning.
Be aware at all times when walking that you must be alert for the cyclists. An accident will ruin your holiday.
There are many cyclists in Amsterdam and most have a very special way of cicling. They only advice to pedestrian ringing the bell and expect everyone to deviate from its path, but rarely stop. Always try to walk on the sidewalk for pedestrians and pay attention when crossing the streets as the trams and cyclists seem to come from everywhere.
Hay muchos ciclistas en Ámsterdam y la mayoría tienen una forma muy especial de andar. Ellos únicamente se anuncian con sus campanas y esperan que todos se aparten de su camino, pero pocas veces se detienen. Procura siempre caminar en la acera para peatones y presta mucha atención al cruzar las calles pues los tranvías y ciclistas parecen venir de todos lados.
If you hv rented a bicycle.. make sure you have a lock and key to go with it.. Last heard picking(a euphemism for stealing) of cycles is becoming more common these days. And if you are not able to return the cycle then needless to say you are in deep *** wth fines and penalty payments
If you are walking, dont stand on the bike paths or they will literally run into you, they will ring and ring the bell but they do never stop and..it is your fault.
If you are biking, beware of people (and do stop, as you are not dutch), beware of cars (they behave exactly as bikers with walkers) and take care of tram rails, it is easy to fall, particularly if if it is wet.
The bikes are sometimes not in a good shape. This might not show if you are not carefull enough.
I was on a bike for one day and the other day, my right arm was aching a lot. I was told that obviously, the wheel was juuust not in place and I was struggling to keep it straight the whole day :((
It is very easy to fall complacent strolling the wonderful canals and squares of Amsterdam. You MUST always be aware of bicyclists all around you at all times. There is often NO margin of error as they tear through the streets endangering pedestrians.
One must be constantly cautious with those crazy Dutch bike riders. I almost got hit by them several times in just a few hours, I wonder what the death rates are... they go *very fast* where people are walking, in narrow streets or sidewalks, seemingly not at all worried that they might easily hurt someone or fall in a channel or DIE!!
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