Amsterdam Bike Tales & Trails - Fear Of Riding

Bicycles are an essential element in the lives of Amsterdammers. The bike is one of the best vehicles to transport yourself in the city: you yourself are its engine, meaning that it is good for your health; it is flexible, you get through traffic and through shortcuts easily; and it gives you freedom because you aren’t bound to public transport’s times which are seldom your times. In this series we try and discover the ins & outs of cycling in and around Amsterdam.

We start with exploring the common fear people experience when first getting on their bike and into the city.

Riding your bicycle through the city can be scary when you’re an Amsterdam novice. Your fellow road users are usually faster than you, seem to come from all sides at once and jolt you by ringing their bells whenever they decide you are in their way. Everybody seems to ignore the red lights, and trams and buses seem to sometimes cut you off just to stress you out. And of course there are the cab drivers: the maniacs of the inner city of Amsterdam don’t stop for nobody. Cycling, at first, can be a definite stress factor for the less experienced cyclist.

Our tip for everyone: persist and get over your fears, because you will prevail. And when you do, the sense of freedom you get from riding your bike through town will be worth it. Once you get used to the rest of the traffic and learn how to go with the flow, it can become a real pleasure to explore the city on your two-wheeler.