Let me just tell you right at the beginning, I love riding my bike. It is one of the best things that we have in Netherlands. Here, the infrastructure, facilities and enthusiasm for biking are on a higher level than anywhere else in Europe. You might have read reports or blogs about biking in Netherlands, if not, just read this one- http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23587916.
As per our basic needs for an individual are concerned, food, clothing and shelter, Oh and I almost forgot…. Smartphones!!! Having a bike is one of the basic needs in Netherlands. It does not mean the public transport is bad but it is more comfortable, fresh, relaxing and for us students a money saver 😛
So you will say all is fine but where to buy a bike. Should I buy a used bike or should I invest in a new one? Well, I had all these questions too. First of all just Don’t just go and get a bike hastily. There are shops, online student groups where you will certainly see one bike offer at least every day. I personally preferred to buy a used bike, there are reasons for it. First, the bikes get stolen, Despite the large number of locks you have for your bike, if it’s your unlucky day… Baaam!!! Your bike is gone and do not even bother searching for it. I lost my first bike from the parking lot in front of the train station! I was shocked, I was under the impression that,’ well train station is kinda safe place to park my bike’ but to my surprise only thing that I found was the broken chain, which I still have it. I have kept it as a souvenir of my first bike in Netherlands.
So, when I bought a second bike and at the same time I made sure to have 2 locks for it. That is one for each tyre. In my experience, when you lock your bike, you should tie your rear wheel to some sturdy bar or fence that cannot be taken away. Get good accessories for your bike like a set of lights and you carry those with you every time you go out on your bike. As far as maintenance of my bike is considered, it’s a little expensive to do it in one of the shops in case of a puncture or oiling or general maintenance. Most of the people I know do it by themselves, the equipment required for the maintenance can be found in supermarkets or they can be borrowed from friends. It saves a lot of money if you do it on your own. I always try to do it on my own and I will soon become an expert in it! 😉 See my tool box for fixing the bike.
You can get your bike insured! Yes that is indeed true. You need to keep those documents with you if you buy a new bike and in case your bike gets stolen you can claim your insurance.
Well that is all I would like you to know about biking in Netherlands. Happy riding 🙂
Oh! This is my bike journey-
The lost one-
The new one-