Amsterdam is really the hub of culture in the Netherlands and you definitely feel it when you’re at events, whether it’s art related or simply out at a concert. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BIKES IN AMSTERDAM? Between 1899 and 1903 the number of bikes in the Netherlands doubled. A Dutch bicycle is designed and built by combining professional engineering, the latest technology and state-of-the-art components. Well, apparently, there were too many accidents involving kids casualties during that time, which make Amsterdamers take over the streets and start demonstrations against the use of cars. Amsterdam’s local government has to regularly dredge up these discarded bikes in order to keep the city’s canals clean, safe and accessible. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'amsterdamhangout_com-leader-1','ezslot_12',126,'0','0'])); During my first month in the Netherlands my bike broke twice and I realised that a trip that with my bike would take 15 minutes, it meant 1 hour walking and 45 minutes commuting with three busses. One of the biggest difficulties was to obtain spare bike pieces because of the lack of production. Here at the Netherlands by Numbers office, we love our bikes – the more battered the better – so we thought we’d put together a few facts. And if your car is older than 2005 you cannot leave it in the city centre not even if your residence is there. When did all this start? Even though during the whole day the city is completely connected and reachable by tram, metro, buses, and trains, after midnight the options are reduced to only night buses every hour or so. Bikes have been part of every Dutch person’s life for over half a century. Traffic: Amsterdam may be the exception to the rule but most Dutch cities were not ready and couldn’t cope with the increasing traffic. My name is Micaela and I am an Argentinian student. These important changes allowed Amsterdam to be the bicycle friendly city it is today. Photo about Statistics reveal that there are more cycles and pedal bikes in Amsterdam than there are people. We started with Amsterdam Hangout to share the perspective of people living here and help others to experience it to the fullest. According to the BBC, over 70% of the journeys made in big cities in the Netherlands, such as Amsterdam, are made by bike. Why do They Sell Rubber Ducks in Amsterdam? As there are over 100 kilometres of canals in Amsterdam, bikers are never far away from these iconic feats of engineering, and often park their bicycles extremely close to the city’s waterways. Anna Luten told the UK’s Guardian newspaper that with so many bikes (one million bikes for a population of 1.1 million) rush hour bike jams frequently forced cyclists to stop at every junction on major routes into the centre. And some trains going from Amsterdam Central Station. In cities this is even higher, such as Amsterdam which has 38%, and Zwolle 46%. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. They created separate paths, making a barrier between cyclists and cars, and leaving pedestrians their own space as well. There are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands and in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike. According to the city’s official water services (WaterNet) around 15,000 bikes are salvaged from the canals annually. Amsterdam is no exception, going anywhere in Amsterdam is also way faster by bike. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'amsterdamhangout_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_1',124,'0','0']));Why aren’t car more popular than bikes? Only on Sundays is free and there are very few places to park anyway. Nowadays the Netherlands is one of the examples of bike paradises on Earth: there are not only separate and clear bike lanes but also bike parking spaces in all stations and public buildings, making leaving your bike and commuting to work a very easy and fast task. I also believe there are a lot of social reasons besides historical ones that would encourage Amsterdammers to use bikes instead of cars. Nevertheless, though people outside of the Netherlands consider Amsterdam to be one of the most famous and important centres of bicycle culture worldwide, the city itself is actually not at the top in terms of bike-friendliness compared to many smaller Dutch cities. AmsterdamHangout.com is a spot, where together with other bloggers we post things about Amsterdam as we learn them. It is evident that if you see an American film and kids have to go to school by car because the average distance between the school and their houses is 30 km, they are not going to go back and forth by bike. I found that I rarely left Amsterdam while living in Amsterdam as I always felt like there was so … Current estimates suggest that there are approximately 881, 000 bikes in Amsterdam, compared to around 851,573 permanent residents. During the last years of the war, many machines from factories were demolished or disassembled by the German forces and transported to Germany to be reused. He introduced the bicycles as part of the society and founded the first cyclists’ riding school in the Netherlands. Utrecht is one of the best examples: de Oudegracht, the most characteristic element of the old city of Utrecht (along the Dom), has forbidden any car circulation, which implies not entering the small streets surrounding it. But the case of Amsterdam and the Netherlands, the longest distance children have to cycle to go to school is 10km, and in Amsterdam I would even say a maximum of 3 or 4. Many old Dutch bikes have pedal brakes, or back brakes, which means you pedal backwards to brake. And on festive occasions or national holidays, molens are decked out in flowers, garlands, figures of angels or the Dutch flag. On a recent trip to the Netherlands, I got to experience this "sea of bikes" first-hand, and I saw no true problems other than pockets of less-than-ideal bike parking accommodations. Right after the war, it remained difficult to get bicycles and spare parts. If you do so you will have to pay a fine, which in this case can be as expensive as for entering the so-called Low Emission Zone. But as every damn guide book, close friend and any person who’s ever been to Amsterdam EVER will tell you – the best way to see the city is on a bike. That way we offer great looking bicycles and cargo bikes, while achieving the highest level of … There are nearly as many bikes in Amsterdam as there are people – so there’s little excuse for not taking to two wheels to explore the city on a holiday here. It is surprisingly common to see rows of unattended bikes, with locked chains looped around their wheels, standing along the banks of Amsterdam’s canals. As I mentioned above, in the Historical Reasons, the creation of Infrastructures during the 80s and 90s was something very encouraging for the society to adapt to a two wheels life. I came to do my Erasmus here in the Netherlands and I fell in love with this country. The lost bikes depot holds more than 12.000 bicycles every day. To put it in perspective, the city of Amsterdam estimates there are 2 million bikes in the city. Bikes are allowed to turn right at a red light. In the 1980s, Dutch towns and cities began introducing measures to make their streets cycle-friendly: cycling paths, cycling traffic lights and, of course, cycling policies. AmsterdamHangout.com participates in affiliate programs and it is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Between 1950 and 1960 the idyllic world cyclists were leaving in was threatened by cars. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Amsterdam is a top choice, along with Hamburg and Prague. Not enough spaces to park them, narrow lanes clogged with swelling ranks of cyclists and a growing tension … Image of cycles, leidsestraat, biking - 119699297 While stray bicycles occasionally fall into the water due to the wind or other acts of God, it is likely that the vast majority of submerged bikes are tossed into the canals on purpose. This has continued to be the case after decades. You’d spend more timing walking to and from your parked car than driving. Bike factories were also affected. So, are there really too many bikes in Amsterdam? I know what it’s like. As the cycling network in the city is much developed, there are many regulations cyclists should follow. While stray bicycles occasionally fall into the water due to the wind or other acts of God, it is likely that the vast majority of submerged bikes are tossed into the canals on purpose. You may be approached by a dodgy stranger on the street offering to sell you a bike for €5 or €10 – don’t think about it as these are stolen and you risk a fine as well as perpetuating this criminal activity. “For Amsterdammers it’s frustrating,” she said. In the 1890s the Dutch bicycle industry grew rapidly, which meant lower prices and a more competitive position in the bike’s market. Two years later I am living in Amsterdam, discovering more about the culture I love and enjoying everything this city has to offer. Anybody who has been to Amsterdam has wondered about the bike situation. All You Need to Know About Salaries in Amsterdam, Minimum Wage, 5 Best Dutch Cheese, Characteristics, Ranking, Best Cheese Brands. A great way of doing so very easily is by cycling. Amsterdam is the second most bicycle-friendly city in the world. No wonder there are more bicycles than citizens in the Netherlands. The Best Hotels in Amsterdam Red Light District, List Of 13 Amsterdam Hotels For Large Groups. As soon as you arrive in the Netherlands you need to know: the first priority are cyclists, the second, cars and the third one, pedestrians.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'amsterdamhangout_com-box-3','ezslot_4',109,'0','0'])); Cycling and bikes have become a synonym for Dutch culture. This means not spending money on public transportation, being respectful with the environment and having a much healthier life, making cycling a part of your daily life. Nowadays the Netherlands boasts 22,000 miles of cycle paths. How To Get From Amsterdam Airport To The... All You Need to Know About Salaries in... 5 Best Dutch Cheese, Characteristics, Ranking, Best Cheese... How Many Days Are Enough To Visit Amsterdam? This meant a change in the transport policies: after all, bikes were the future and maybe cars were not the best for Amsterdam. The possibility of cycling everywhere in the Netherlands, it’s given thanks to its geographical location. This site is owned and operated by Rafal Sulowski. If you do so you will have to pay a fine, which in this case can be as expensive as for entering the so-called Low Emission Zone.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'amsterdamhangout_com-banner-1','ezslot_3',112,'0','0'])); After living for many years in the Netherlands I also consider this society to be what they are BECAUSE they use bikes, and not the other way around. After 1942 this problem trespassed the tires and it also influenced pedals, lamps and many other bike components. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The whole world had to reduce the consumption of oil and the Netherlands was no exception. While these statistics certainly aren’t foolproof, they seem relatively accurate considering the vast number of cyclists flowing through the city everyday. I learnt that using a bike was not only a matter of being good for the environment or adapting to what Dutch are used to, but a much more practical and fast way to getting around in any city. Living in a city like Amsterdam gives you the advantage of being able to go everywhere by bike. There’s been a lot of hype about the Dutch and their bikes in the international media recently. I was a newbie in the city once. Amsterdam is a city that has always represented the avant-garde or pioneer of the Netherlands. Amsterdam has an amazingly broad range of options for those who want to go out at any given day of the week, which means that the best way of going back home if you are partying anywhere in the city, are bikes. In fact, over 400 kilometers of cycle paths trails through the city’s centre, periphery and suburbs, allowing cyclists to quickly travel between Amsterdam’s many neighbourhoods. Living in Amsterdam as a student can end up being expensive and having a car to just do 3-4km to go to class is not a priority. How Much Does It Cost To Move To Amsterdam. Fortunately, the municipality has an expert salvage team on their payroll, who regularly venture into the canals armed with a boat-mounted, giant claw that easily wrenches bikes from the watery abysses hidden beneath Amsterdam. Although Amsterdam’s notoriously flat geography makes it perfect for biking, the city’s famous, 17th-century canals can cause problems for cyclists. With so many bikes around it’s not surprising to note that bike theft in Amsterdam is rampant – over 200 bikes a day are stolen. It started becoming the preferred transportation method for daily life. And if we compare it to a car, it may be the same time, but imagine what that means! When this article was first published, in April 2006, the 750,000 people who lived in Amsterdam were said to own 600,000 bicycles. Nobody has a clear answer to why Amsterdam’s residents throw away so many bikes into the canals, but this habit of throwing things into the canals goes back a long way. As you can imagine, being able to bike is indispensable in the Netherlands and by the age of 10 they can go on their own to school every morning, fast and simple. The best way to make Dutch roads safe again was to stop promoting the usage of cars. With so many used bikes in Amsterdam, buying a brand new one is not necessary, especially if you’re looking for cheap bikes. Hello, My name is Rafal and I am a blogger living in Amsterdam. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK", A bike chained to a bridge on Amsterdam's canals, Apparently there’s a special kind of jerk that enjoys throwing bikes into Amsterdam’s canals, Roughly 78% of Amsterdammers own at least one bike. Kids cycle with their parents to school since they are very little. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. This means that there are not as many safety measures as there are in other countries, because they trust each other and the way everything has to ethically work. Never miss out on new stuff. The weirdest rule to me, as a foreigner, is that bikes are allowed to turn right at … And even when you know about it beforehand it is impossible not to be surprised when you see the massive waves of cyclists during peak hours crossing the whole city. Most Dutch and international students go everywhere with their bikes, a cheap, practical and ecologic option. All streets are bike streets In most cities, the network of bicycle tracks and lanes is far sparser than the overall street network for vehicular traffic. However, most people in Amsterdam still find logic and happiness in parking their bikes within a maximum of two meters of the place where they need to be. Having cars in the Netherlands is not cheap. Such is the importance of these sights that there is even a National Windmill Day (11 May). Little by little, Dutch politicians started realising the many advantages of using bikes. Oct 25, 2019 - Amsterdam Canal Tour Joke/Fact Number 4 (spoiler alert) - In Amsterdam there are 1M people but 2M bikes why are there so many bikes? All bridges, all lifts in all the stations, all trains and metros, as well as all the stairs in public spaces are especially design for cyclist to be able to transport everywhere in the city their bikes. Why So Many Bikes: General Reasons. It is hard to determine when Dutch started using bikes because it has always been part of their culture, but there are certain events in history that have made of this fact a massive movement, an example for the rest of the world. Amsterdam may have recently ranked as the top city for cyclists, but in a place full of two-wheeled congestion, traffic and road rage, are there simply too many of them?. 14. The center of Amsterdam is very densely built. Do they cycle under the rain? Pro Tip: Surprisingly, bike locks should be about 30-50% of the cost of your bike because bike theft is so common here. If you've never done them before, walk your bike to a quiet road or to a cycle-friendly park and go up and down until you're a bit more used to them. Over 30 percent of trips in Amsterdam are done by bike, and many locals have decried the Times article as hyperbole. Even in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, nocturnal public transportation is not the best option. It is very hard to understand Dutch people and their concepts without considering as well bicycles. There are just too many of them. Parked bicycles are one of Amsterdam biggest annoyances. In 1973, a very important event hit most Western countries: the OPEC Oil Embargo lead to an Oil Crisis. During this period of time, Amsterdam suffer changes following a so-called “car-centric urban planning”. Bikes are way faster, cheaper and ecological, three good reasons for any Dutch person to go everywhere by bike. One thing is sure, cyclists have priority. And that there are many canals and yobs in Amsterdam. – Criggie ♦ Sep 4 '17 at 2:43 @Criggie 20k bikes per year is 55 per day, which does seem to be quite a lot of yobbery. Many more use their bikes for other reasons as well: for leisure, trips to the supermarket, bringing the kids to school, or even walking the dog. Why are there so many bikes? The department long said nobody knows exactly how many bikes there are in Amsterdam. Even the elderly? This is reflected in the fact that Amsterdam is not on the short-list for the Fietsstad 2014 awards, announced by the Dutch Fietsersbond: the cities of The Hague, Eindhoven and Alme AmsterdamHangout.com participates in affiliate programs and it is compensated for referring traffic and business to other companies. Ample bicycle parking is found throughout the city. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'amsterdamhangout_com-box-4','ezslot_9',125,'0','0'])); In 1975 the Government decided to try out the creation of bike paths in The Hague and Tilburg, two big Dutch cities. This movement was called Stop de Kindermoord, literally, stop children’s murder. If Amsterdam is an expensive country, parking spaces is one of the most expensive luxuries in the city. These bike paths are often more direct, quicker, convenient route than the car lanes. Dutch people used this opportunity to embrace the usage of bikes, implementing policies such as Car-free Sundays (a movement consisting on forbidding car circulations on Sunday, for a whole month, and making picnics on the roads instead) and other smart ideas to encourage people in the big cities to use bikes again, more and more. This site is owned and operated by Rafal Sulowski. There was no sewer system in Amsterdam, so the canals were like an open toilet and trash-can for the people of Amsterdam. Amsterdam was “destroyed” to construct roads, traffic lights and allow cars to circulate. We built it – and other cities can, too.” He is referring to the investment in cycling infrastructure that began in earnest in the 1970s, following a post-war boom in auto reliance that led to unacceptably high death rates for cyclists. Amsterdam is well known for being bicycle friendly. Nowadays there are a lot of Dutch cities that forbid cars to enter their city centres. The first big problem to these Dutch bike producers happened after WWI. What is not death at night is nightlife. The temperature is a little cold but rather mild most of the year, 99% of the surfaces are flat, which means that most bikes don’t have gears and there is no excuse to use your bike. Top Places To Cycle In Amsterdam Vondelpark Other potential culprits include bicycles thieves that want to quickly dispose of evidence, and bike owners that simply can’t be bothered to take their broken rides to the dump. Roughly 78% of Amsterdammers own at least one bike, and it is often said that bicycles outnumber residents in the city by a significant margin. During this period they had to compete with the German bike producers and international companies coming to the country, which in any case means that the Dutch industry was suffering but not the bikes, being more and more popular every year.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'amsterdamhangout_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_7',110,'0','0'])); During the war most industries reduced their productions, including, of course, the bicycle production in the Netherlands. Best Dutch Beer and 7 Best Breweries in... How To Get From Amsterdam Airport To The City Center? It’s a tough world out there, especially for novice tourists who haven’t sat on a bike seat since they were a kid. When you are living in the Netherlands, bikes are not an option but a MUST. In many countries, including mine, Argentina, it is inconceivable for a kid to go alone to school, but this is not the case in the Netherlands. The popularity of cycling in Amsterdam is undoubtedly aided by the fact that Amsterdam is flat, compact and densely populated and the climate mostly moderate. Cycling is a common mode of transport in the Netherlands, with 36% of the people listing the bicycle as their most frequent mode of transport on a typical day as opposed to the car by 45% and public transport by 11%. Accept Read More. The lack of infrastructure, the size of the country, the insurance driving next to canals and cyclists end up making driving something very expensive. Even though locals tend to cherish and protect their rides, thousands of bikes manage to fall into the city’s canals every year. This means that all the changes the city was going through, were all car-oriented. Everybody expects you to have and use your bike, to be able to cycle, no matter the weather conditions and to understand their weird cycling rules. That is why parking bicycles in Amsterdam is getting more and more restricted. More than a quarter of all trips are made by bicycle, compared with 2% in the UK – … However, even in this big city older children go alone to schools. The postwar economy started growing, which meant more money for cars, infrastructures for these and money for petrol. These statistics certainly aren ’ t foolproof, they seem relatively accurate the... S life for over half a century to and from your parked car than driving cyclists leaving..., along with Hamburg and Prague a spot, where together with other bloggers we things... Percent of trips in Amsterdam, discovering more about the culture I love and enjoying this. Buying a bike in Amsterdam, discovering more about the Dutch flag their city centres known being... 1973, a cheap, practical and ecologic option has to offer current estimates suggest that there are in.. Getting more and more restricted bike paths are often more direct, quicker, convenient than. 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