Hogeschool van Amsterdam

How to ride like a real Damer

Posted at: 27 Oct 2017 | Student Affairs

Bikes, just a means of transport ? Just a sport ? You are so wrong little bird.

One of the many surprising things Amsterdammers perform on their bike

Bikes, bikes, bikes, they are everywhere! Amsterdammers are crazy about them.
Do you think I am joking ? You would be surprised...
Last week I even saw a couple leaving the church on their faithful companion, their bike!

So sweet, so cute !’ you must be thinking.. Well, wait for one of them to ride on your feet and growl because YOUR feet were under his wheel.

* TIP 1: Look on the left, on the right, in front of you, behind you, diagonally and ... above you before crossing any street. Amsterdam is the most bicycle-friendly capital city in the world and you can definitely see it!

* TIP 2: Get a bike... and a good lock.
No matter the size, color, shape (because, yes, there are funny ones - just as people) or recency, just get one. It is the easiest way to travel in Amsterdam and definitely the cheapest one as well.

Fun fact: You will surprisingly quickly adopt their mannerisms, grumble on inattentive tourists, sigh behind indecisive cyclists and even enjoy the ride back home after a party.

An easy option, of course, is to take your bike with you from home if you come from a neighboring country. Otherwise, you can rent one (for one semester or a year) for a pretty reasonable price (all services included).
And if you are feeling the ‘bike love’ getting under your skin, you can even buy one in various markets.

Pssst, just do not buy one when leaving the club at 5AM, these are stolen ones (yes, that will be offered to you).

Fun fact: The locals joke that in the canals of Amsterdam there are 3 meters: 1 meter of water, 1 meter of mud and 1 meter of bikes. (Watch out if it is true !)

* TIP 3: Find a little name for your bike because, all in all, you will spend a lot of time with him/her. (Mine is called ‘Rosie the Riveter’ because when I on my bike ‘I don’t need no man’ hehe)

Do not worry about the cold : after 10 min you will wish for a snowstorm - or about the rain : they sell looooovely protection here.

I am glad that ridicule never killed anyone

Fun fact: With a population of just under 17 million, the Netherlands has more bikes than people!

I can hear you protest : ’Bike everyday, even under the rain and after parties ? Not for me!’. But trust me, you will.. and you will love it!

Watch the student ambassadors video