Cycling in Amsterdam for the first time can be quite intimidating. Don’t mistake cycling in Amsterdam for ‘something fun’ or ‘relaxing’. It’s best to do some research on this phenomenon if you don’t want to end up in an ambulance. The most important thing to realize is this: as soon as you enter Amsterdam, the traffic rules change when it comes to cycling. Avoid being treated as the fat kid in gym class and blend in. Here’s how you do it:
1. Never ever wear a helmet.
Helmets are for tourists. And tourists get treated like the fat kid in gym class.
2. Hurry the f*ck up.
Always cycle like you are 10 minutes late to a life changing appointment.
3. Use your phone.
Call your mom, check your socials, turn on your GPS. It doesn’t really matter what you do. Just use your phone.
4. Never stop for pedestrians.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
5. Ignore traffic lights.
Just scan the intersection for openings yourself and go go go!
6. Use sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.
Please remember that you are in a hurry.
7. Be vocal.
Make sure you tell people if they are in your way. Never stop cycling though, you are still in a hurry.
8. Never stop in the middle of a bicycle lane.
Tourists and cycle newbies often just stop cycling for no visible reason and at any given moment. You are truly putting your own life at risk doing this. ALWAYS KEEP MOVING.
9. Park everywhere.
You can park your bike everywhere as long as you don’t bother other people. Avoid blocking doors, terraces, the middle of the road and other bikes. If you do you’ll find your bike on the bottom of the nearest canal.
10. Never hurt other people.
I personally think you should always avoid getting people hurt. But if you need another reason just imagine this: by hurting another cyclist, you will block the bicycle lane. One can only imagine the verbal abuse one will suffer in case of unnecessarily making other cyclists stop…
Just keep in mind: practice makes perfect.