Life on Dutch roads can be dangerous and unforgiving. The humid climate, angry bikers and ruthless bicycle thieves are only a few reasons why you will definitely need the following seven tips:
1. Never cycle like a Dutch person. It is common knowledge that their mothers gave birth to them while riding a bicycle. Only to put them on their own bike immediately afterwards. If you act like a coward and obey the traffic rules like Moses obeyed the ten commandments, you should be safe.
2. Do not ride your grandmother’s crippled retro bicycle. The police can fine you for not having installed proper front and back lights. Nobody likes fines. Not even your grandmother. She also does not like flat tires. And do you know what makes her the happiest? Reflectors on your wheels.
3. Do what you show and show what you do. If you stick your arm out to the right and then decide to go straight instead, you run the serious risk of causing confusion, anger and collision among Dutch people.
4. Always cycle on the right side of the lane. This will prevent Kebab delivery men on scooters and grandmothers on an “Omafiets” from crashing into you. But if your insurance covers that: Go ahead.
5. The greatest danger is already integrated into the street itself. Tram rails. They are evil and unforgiving. The only way to successfully cross them is at an angle of 90 degrees.
6. Get yourself a bright pink or yellow jacket. Sounds aesthetically abhorrent? Wait until winter, when it turns dark at 4 pm. While the people who thought they were to cool for neon colours get run over by inattentive car drivers, you will cycle safe and happy towards your flat share.
7. The Netherlands are the most criminal country in the world. At least, when it comes to bike theft. Maybe you have already been a victim. Maybe you have already been offered a stolen bike. In any case: Get yourself a proper chain. Not one of these thin wire ropes. A real massive chain. Having a ring lock for your back wheel can also do no harm, while you lock your front wheel and frame to a secure pole with your massively big binding. ET