biking the city, safely

Twee toeristen huren een fiets bij MacBike in Amsterdam.

Spring is in the air, here in Amsterdam, and with all new tourists pouring in and getting on bikes, some basic rules should be kept in mind. Cycling in the city is not complicated if you stick to some basic rules:

-Watch all traffic signs, most are pretty straightforward.
-Stay at the right hand side of the road, not the middle, never the left hand side.
-Don’t cycle too slow: the slower you do it the more you’ll look as a drunk driver.
– Use a route planner for bikers, to find a safe and nice route.
-Beware of trams: they go fast and can be more silent than you think.
-Wait for a red traffic light: locals never do, but you should.
-Don’t bike the sidewalks, pedestrians can get annoyed.
-Taxi’s are your natural enemy!
-If you stop, don’t stay on the street or cycle path. There is too much (fast) traffic over there (and the other bikers will hate you for it 🙂 ).
-Better use the bike for a trip outside the city center. Within, the traffic is quite crowded and you might as well walk: it’s a small area.
Biking in winter can be full of hazards,  it’s warmer and safer to use public transport.

Amsterdam wouldn’t be my city for learning the bike ride, but if you persist, look for a quiet area. For bike hire: look over here. For more safety tips look here.

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