Cycling in Amsterdam

I’m a cyclist.

I don’t do competitions or long distance or anything like that, don’t get me wrong, but my bicycle is my way of transportation, I’m a true Amsterdammer.. I cycle about 350 days a year if I’m not abroad any of those. The other 15 are generally too icy or snowy. Wind, rain, cold, that’s all no problem to me. Even a little bit of snow or ice I can handle.

For the Nieuwe Amsterdammers (New Amsterdam-inhabitants) & tourists, I summarise the treaths/ hazards of cycling in Amsterdam below.  And for you Amsterdammers like me, it’s just a reminder so you don’t get reminded just as rockhard (it was actually more concrete-hard) as I just did.

  1. Trams, buses and taxi’s.
    In general they act rude, don’t care about you, drive through the red light and can’t break in time ’cause of their speed.
  2. Tramrails.
    The wheels of your bike almost perfectly fit into the tramrails. You get the wheels in, but before you get them out you’re on the floor (That’s exactly what just happened to ME, an experienced city-of-Amsterdam-cyclist).
  3. Black ice.
    For about 2 weeks a year, generally in December and/or January, we have the black ice thing. Black ice is ice on the roads that is not visible (CHECK here for a much more clear Wiki-explanation)  But it’s there. Killing!
  4. Girls with skirts.
    Foreigners are always amazed. I always try to not be one of them. Seriously; Dutch girls all ages wear short skirts on their bicycle and this can be a bit distracting.

So… be careful, ok? (Guess this whole article is more meant for me than for you) I’m on the lookout for a new bicycle now..after fixing, my Hummer might last a bit longer but I guess tomorrow I’ll travel by tram and my Hummy probably had his best days.

So to cheer us up here’s a golden oldie. Funny fact; I’ve never seen  this version of the clip before, I guess I was too young…

 

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10 Comments to “Cycling in Amsterdam”

  1. Thank you, this is very informative, I didn’t know about black ice for example! Also I would add a special underlining to the taxi threat and their murderer driving style… I hope your hummer will be soon back to the baksteen! keep informing us! ciao

  2. LOL Getting stuck in that terrible tramrail is part of the rite the passage every aspiring biker in amsterdam has to go through; youre never quite the same after that experience (the shame, the being stuck-ness), but come out much stronger. You just have to be confident to survive in that urban jungle called amsterdam. Im sorry to hear about you and the hummer, you became such a steady couple together and must have shared many intimite and passionate moments ;) do you still have your claxon? Ow and guess what; I just bought a bike here in Uganda! It is sooo hot and the hills are a killer, and cars here are not half as polite as in Holland. But Im getting there :) Much Love!

    • Haaa hey babe yeaH remember the Hummie? I didn’t give up on him yet, we’ve been together for about 6 years. I got my 3rd claxon now I think. Rceently found a beautiful antique version but didn’t buy it, it would have gotten stolen. I remember your experience with the paaltje (small pole) in Ams…I wasn’t there but heard the stories & saw your wounds, aparently you flew trough the air. Yes people, it’s a dangerous way of transport! :)

  3. I plan to cycle around Europe in Summer 2012. I’ll have to add Amsterdam to the list of places to visit.

  4. I LOVE this video link (though think Queen should have shown some men on those bikes, that would have been more appropriate!)

    Tram lines are dangerous, taxis even worse–seems like they would prefer to run you over than stop–but I still feel safer cycling here than other places where whatever mode of transport has no awareness of the cyclist. Back in the State, one car driver told me she’d probably hit me because she just wouldn’t be looking….

    Nice post!

  5. Quality post, it just makes me wanted cycle in Amsterdam; girls, danger, weather, what more could we ask for…

  6. Thx for your comments!
    Nooooooo there shouldn’t be men in the clip, wouldn’t like to see something “dangling” down the bike. The clip is beautiful as it is. And Mr lesacbanane, do so!!!! It’s lovely. And now you are warned ;) Try the pedalo’s too! You’ll need half an hour of practise and preferably some warmer temperatures but it’s supercool to “cylce” over the canals as well!

    Hummer update; I’m looking for a new bike :( The Hummer got a flat tyre which is fixable of course but since the crash the while bike feels incredibly instable :*(

  7. Am also an avid cyclist. Did triathlon in my day, now cycle for transportation and like you, leave it home when it’s too icy/cold or here in Brighton – windy! Sometimes the wind blows so hard it’s a steady uphill climb to get to your destination, over perfectly flat terrain. Fortunately, there’s always one direction when you have the wind on your back pushing you along.

    • Well I don’t dare to compare my shape or my cycling to yours then… But we’ve got similar weatherconditions…I got soaked this morning. Always have a weekendbag with extra clothes at the office.. But no I don’t seem to have the same luck as you. When I have the wind against me, when I return the other way the wind usually seems to have turned and I don’t get the wind on my back..

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