Cycling in the Netherlands

cycling in the Netherlands
cycling is a way of life in Holland

Cycling is a way of life in the Netherlands. Prior to my 9-day trip to the country, I have never seen this many bicycles in my life. Not only are there too many to count, there are numerous types too.

cycling in the Netherlands
toddler on the back seat

cycling in the Netherlands
transporting a bicycle

Observing the Dutch, I have a feeling that a bicycle is more a fashion accessory rather than a vehicle although the bicycle seems to be the primary mode of transport. I understand that everyone owns more than one bicycle.

cycling in the Netherlands
multi-storey bicycle parking in Amsterdam near Amsterdam Centraal

cycling in the Netherlands
double-storey bicycle parking at Den Haag Centraal

Just look at the multi-storey bicycle parking at Den Haag Centraal and Amsterdam Centraal stations!

cycling in the Netherlands
parking the bicycle on the upper deck

cycling in the Netherlands
this is as steep as the roads in Holland could be

It certainly helps that most of Holland is flat, making cycling an effortless activity. The conducive weather helps, obviously, something that I cannot imagine office workers in Malaysia doing day in and out, commuting to work in office attire.

cycling in the Netherlands
cycling in office attire

cycling in the Netherlands
a child sitting in the front carriage

Also, public transport like the Metro and trams have special spots in the carriage for bicycles and it is not uncommon for cyclists to take along their bikes onto trams and trains.

cycling in the Netherlands
foldable bicycle

cycling in the Netherlands
bicycle on the Metro

Most parts of Holland are bicycle-friendly, and having dedicated cycling lanes help reduce accidents. Therefore, cyclists in Holland are not required to wear a safety helmet.

cycling in the Netherlands
bicycle lane next to pedestrian walk

cycling in the Netherlands
bicycle sign

Scooter riders, who share the bicycle lanes throughout Holland, are also not required to wear a helmet and are not permitted to go above the speed limit of 25km/h.

cycling in the Netherlands
a three-lane road: for pedestrians, bicycles & scooters and motor vehicles

cycling in the Netherlands
foldable bicycle

The good thing about using the bicycle to go from place to place is that one doesn’t need to pay parking, will never be issued a parking ticket and no tyre clamping.

cycling in the Netherlands
bicycle with side carriage

cycling in the Netherlands
abandoned bicycle

I spotted a few broken bicycles on the roadside as well. If it’s broken, just leave it. Don’t have to carry the piece of scrap home, eh?

cycling in the Netherlands
electric scooter

cycling in the Netherlands
mobility scooter

For someone like me from Malaysia where we drive in the opposite direction from the Dutch, crossing the road is a hazard where cars, scooters, mobility bikes, electric bikes, mopeds, bicycles, buses, trams and even skateboards seem to come from all directions.

cycling in the Netherlands
skateboarding

cycling in the Netherlands
mother and child

Having said so, the risk of getting knocked down by a bicycle is the highest, as they could go really fast, overtaking scooters easily, probably because of the long-legged Dutch cyclists.

cycling in the Netherlands
tandem

I wonder if all the cycling contributes to the physical built and lankiness of the average Dutch person.

cycling in the Netherlands
on a paddle-less balance bike

cycling in the Netherlands
a child’s bicycle chained together with an adult one

It’s fascinating that toddlers who could barely walk yet are already on the bicycle. I was hard-pressed to look for a Dutch who can’t cycle. I wonder if the government’s baby bonus is a bicycle instead of cash or bonds offered like some other countries.

cycling in the Netherlands
starting them young

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With love

2 thoughts on “Cycling in the Netherlands

  1. Hi Emily
    My name is Claus, the man sitting next to you on your flight from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam.
    I just took a look at your website, you give interesting comments.
    Did you enjoy your stay in Holland?
    By

  2. Hi Claus!

    It is so good to hear from you. Yes, I have enjoyed my trip to Holland indeed, despite the cold. It was an eye-opener. I am home now in Ipoh but left my heart in Holland, if that is possible. I hope to have another chance to visit your friendly country!

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