Type in ‘cycling in the Netherlands’ to the internet and you will find many blogs, journalistic articles and even scientific pieces about the biking culture in this small country. The Netherlands has more bikes than people. In Rotterdam and elsewhere, you will discover that cycling is easy, safe and fun.
Every Dutch city, town and village has cycle paths, which are smooth and often separated from car traffic. Drivers are usually cyclists too, which makes them very generous to people on the bike.
You are not obliged to wear a helmet. Many Dutch people on their bikes don’t wear one. It is however advisable to wear one if you don’t have much previous cycling experience. In the past, Dutch people might have been surprised to see people wear a cycle helmet, considering it an overprotective measure. However, nowadays, especially in international cities like Rotterdam, it is completely fine to wear one.
Rent a bike
There are many bike rental services in Rotterdam. A normal city bike costs around 10 euros a day. If you have a personal OV Chipcard, you can arrange a bike subscription: the ‘OV-fietsabonnement’. OV-fiets is a convenient rental bicycle to use for the last part of your journey; take a train to the nearest station and bike from there, for example to visit friends and family, go to the museum or attend a business lunch. An OV-fiets is only 3.85 euros a day. If you keep the OV-fiets for more than 24 hours, you will be charged for an extra rental period (up to 72 hours). After 72 hours, you will incur an additional charge of € 5 per 24-hour period.
Where to buy a bike?
There are many bike shops where you can buy a bike. In addition, many second-hand bikes are offered for sale on marktplaats.nl, an online auction site which is the Dutch equivalent to eBay.