The country of bikes, one of the many nicknames of the Netherlands. Funny enough the Dutch only once won the Tour the France and there are many other biking nations not the least the U.S.A.. Also the U.K. Germany and Colombia are big bike fans but no where else than in Holland are there so many bikes on the street.
The history of the Dutch bike goes back centuries but why are there so many bikes in the Netherlands? Why do the Dutch bike everywhere? One obvious reason is that the country is as flat as a pancake so no steep hills to climb but on the flip side it does get very windy in Holland especially in autumn with the famous fall storms so biking is no fun! Not the least, it rains a lot so why would you bike in the rain with head winds when you can also drive? There are two obvious reasons. First, the Dutch are very eco-friendly. Clean air and the environment mean a lot to the Dutch. The government is enforcing that with high gasoline taxes and inner cities that are unfriendly for cars and friendly for bikes. This leads to the second reason why the Dutch bike so much. It is cheaper than driving! No parking costs, speeding penalties and gasoline expenses.
So what does it mean to live in bike land Netherlands? There are biking freeways, biking highways, baking paths, baking trails, 20 different type of bikes to chose from and of course bike parking lots. The city if Utrecht is the proud Guinness Book of World Records owner of THE largest biking parking lot in the universe. You actually need to make reservations to park your bike and it is one of the few establishments in Holland that is open 24/7! Do you think you can find your bike below? Make sure to lock it because (electrical) bikes may cost as much of 2000 Euros!
While biking make sure you obey local bike traffic rules. There is no J-biking and passing another bike is only on the left and not on the right. Some bike lanes are wider than a California freeway but make sure you always stay in the right bike lane!. When changing lanes or turning a corner you have to use your hand to indicate which way you are heading. Don’t be surprised to see the Dutch Prime minister going to his office on his bike, wearing a suit and his lunch box on the back seat.
The Netherlands has lots to offer and a much of it can be found in Amsterdam. But take some time off and visit the largest bike lot in the world in beautiful Utrecht. CityBusExpress has a daily shuttle service from Berlin and Hanover to Amsterdam and a seasonal service from Bruxelles tot Amsterdam. Hop on the train from Amsterdam to Utrecht and witness first hand the largest biking lot ever. Almost forgot, CityBusExpress lets you take your bike for FREE on the bus service from Amsterdam to Berlin!!