When in Amsterdam, do as the locals do! This would involve eating a bunch of fried food, speaking as you would when trying to communicate with a German when you only speak English and have had five pints too many and of course, getting from A to B on a bike. The first two are down to you but regarding the bicycle we have some top tips of how to ride like a true Amsterdammer.
Find yourself a bike
As every petty thief in Amsterdam knows, it is not to difficult to acquire a bike. All you need is a little bit of cunning and a pair of wire cutters. However, if you do not fancy a potential run in with the law, you can always go to a bike rental shop. Amsterdam has multiple bike rental facilities and the cheapest we found offers you half a day for the small fee of five euros.
Use the bike lane
The streets in Amsterdam are reminiscent of everyone’s favourite childhood game – Frogger! When you are riding a bike you will want to stay in the orange-brown colours lanes on the side of the main streets. Ideally, peddle in the direction that the bike symbols on these paths point. If the bike is upside down, you’re on the wrong side!
Stay off the tram tracks
As a cyclist, the tram is your mortal enemy and you will avoid it all (medical) costs! The trams run on narrow metal rails embedded in the pavements and if you do not wish become a tram yourself, stay well away from these grooves.
Use your bell
Not everyone was great at Frogger, especially the tourists here in Amsterdam so your bell will become your closest companion when biking. Ring it loudly to warn tourists that you are coming through and they must move aside.
Learn some Dutch Profanity
Amongst the bustle of the city, dopey tourists might be unable to hear the loud ring of your bicycle bell but fear not, you have other options. “Pas op” or “Loopt Normaal” are firm favourites amongst the Amsterdam cycling community so do not be afraid to bellow them at top of your lungs when obstructed by a meer pedestrian
Double lock it
As you may have guessed from point number one, the city is not the place to be trusting with your bicycle so in order to avoid having your bike stolen and having to pay a fee at the rental company because of this, be sure to lock your bike. There are many places in the city to park your bike and when you do so, try to lock it to a neighbouring bike if you know the person or to a nearby metal rail.