Bicycling In Amsterdam

Bicycling In Amsterdam

The first thing that comes to mind when you mention Amsterdam is a city where anything goes. Amsterdam is a city where you can dibble and dabble in a number of activities that are considered taboo in many locales. From the red-light district to the numerous coffeeshops that serve lots of mind altering treats, Amsterdam is sure to keep you entertained.
My first time in Amsterdam I stayed for 3 weeks and when it was time to go back to the U.S. I certainly wasn’t ready. Even though I was running out of money, I was still able to enjoy myself without blowing my money on transportation.
Amsterdam is totally flat and extremely bicycle friendly, thus making it a pleasure for anyone to ride through. Bicyclists have the right of way over pedestrians and cars in Amsterdam. In fact, in some smaller Dutch towns bikes are free to use, just as long as you have a bicycle to leave. Simply go to the store, leave your bike out (unlocked if you like) and if it’s gone when you come out, grab another unlocked bike. This is not so in the larger city of Amsterdam because with bigger cities comes crime as well.
There are so many great places to ride in Amsterdam. Bike rental shops can be found all over the city and rent for around $15US a week. This was my sole method of transportation. One of my favorite places to ride is Vondel Park, just outside the main tourist area of Centraal. Riding through Vondel park, you will experience lush greenery with large open grass areas. During the summer you can find topless sunbathers. Amsterdam is very similar to San Francisco with it’s tolerance for alternative lifestyles.
Shopping Areas
With all the freedom and right of way, there are still some rules that you must follow to blend in and ride like the Dutch. In Centraal, it is quite easy to ride on a street, crowded with people and end up in side an outdoor shopping area without even knowing it. One time a police officer blew a whistle at me because I was riding in a shopping area. Being from the U.S. I was not familiar with the territory and I inadverdtantly ended up riding through a busy shopping center. Fortunately, they were lenient and allowed me to go. Nevertheless, be mindful of where you are riding. The safest bet is to stay on the street where the cars go. There is ample space provided for bicycles to travel throughout the city of Amsterdam and it is quite safe.
Use Your Bell
You will find that all bikes in Holland are equipped with a bell. Granted, Amsterdam is a great city to ride a bicycle through, it is still somewhat crowded and takes a small degree of skill to navigate safely. A polite way to indicate your presence should you approach someone while riding is to use your bell. The Dutch people are tuned into this sound and will most certainly give way if they hear the bell ahead of time. It’s quite amazing to see how quickly they move out of the way when the bell is rung. Use the bell. They also take offense if one doesn’t ring as they pass because it could be startling.
Off the Bike
When you aren’t riding your bike, be mindful to notice the bells. There will be others who will ring to alert you to their presence and it is common courtesy to give way to the bicyclists. If you happen to exit a coffeeshop or tavern and you aren’t sober remember to check both ways before entering any kind of walkway.
All in all, Amsterdam is a great city to explore on a bike due to it’s flat terrain. You can get nearly anywhere in the city in less than one hour by bicycle. And personally I’ve found the most interesting places in Amsterdam far away from the tourist center. Another bonus to exploring is the coffeeshops are far cheaper away from Centraal and the people are more down to Earth and are interested in you, rather than interested in selling you something.

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Туроператор Kerala Dream Mart.