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Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

D L
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
290 posts
61 reviews
Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

Dear all,

Hello. I am coming to Amsterdam with my own bicycle because it is the place of the start of a European cycling tour for me.

Like many tourists, I plan to explore the city by bicycle, and I have learnt much about the rules (dont walk in the lanes, etc.), the road signs and other etiquette. One thing that I just thought of is the cycling speed. As a tourist, I may have a strolling speed on the cycling lanes and have glances at the surrounding scenery while cycling. This will be different to how locals cycle since I believe most locals are focused at getting to the destination. So, is this appropriate?

Can I cycle slowly on the lanes while looking at the views (of course safely), or should I cycle always according to the pace of the others and only look at the views when stopped on the sidewalk? Thanks

15 replies to this topic
Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
11,898 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

<Can I cycle slowly on the lanes while looking at the views (of course safely), or should I cycle always according to the pace of the others and only look at the views when stopped on the sidewalk?>

Don't stop on a sidewalk. You have actually answered your own question. The Dutch will be focused on getting from A to B and will not be too happy with tourists going slowly to sightsee.

"Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Breda, The...
Level Contributor
5,708 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

“Can I cycle slowly on the lanes while looking at the views (of course safely)”

If you do this, you will also learn a whole range of abbusive words in Dutch while admiring the sites. It could also lead to an opportunity to admire the Dutch medical system. In other words; don’t do this. If you want to admire the sights, just walk. Amsterdam is a very compact city. You really don’t need a bike if you want to sight see.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 21:54
Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
Level Contributor
45,520 posts
81 reviews
3. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

Well initially I would advise you not to cycle in Amsterdam but in saying that, people cycle at all different speeds. You get very old people cycling slowly and of course you get people going pretty quickly. People on E-bikes can do up to 25km/hr. Sometimes on busy routes at busy time it is difficult to get up any speed at all and you always have to watch out for people, not just tourists but locals too, just stopping in the bike lanes. Tourists in groups of 5, especially Italian ones wearing bobble hats adorned with "Amsterdam", are about the worst ;-)) However if you get one of those hats then locals will immediately mark you as a hazard and avoid you.

Oh and then there are the snorfiets (scooters) in the bike paths and the tram lines to worry about plus taxi drivers doing U turns in front of you. Oh and those little electric cars and invalid scooters that are also allowed to use the bike lanes.

Oh and the tourists who walk in to the bike path unexpectedly. Have I forgotten any other hazards?

Most of the roads around the canal ring don't have cycle paths btw and lots have cobblestones so if you are bringing a road bike then it might be quite uncomfortable. That is why locals ride around on bikes made from old tank parts. Oh and I hope you have a secure lock that would keep a Rhino chained up.

D L
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
290 posts
61 reviews
4. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

Seems there is a lot I don't know actually, maybe I will rethink about cycling in the inner city :)

Bedfordshire...
Destination Expert
for Berlin
Level Contributor
12,353 posts
114 reviews
5. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

Wise move.

In my experience, the average speed on cycle paths is 'breakneck'

Europe
Level Contributor
4,014 posts
6. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

The average speed is fairly high and increases extra during morning and afternoon rush hour. Cycling in the inner city is quite demanding and you need to be vigilant and pro-active at all times. Riding a bike enjoying the scenery rather than looking at the traffic is something you can do in the countryside but not in central Amsterdam.

Breda, The...
Level Contributor
5,708 posts
8 reviews
7. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

Cycling at a slower speed because you are older but still paying attention to the road and to other traffic is one thing. But cycling slow because you are sightseeing and thus not paying attention to the road or other traffic is another thing and frankly is just plain stupid. Not just in Amsterdam, but in other European cities you might want to visit as well.

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
11,898 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

<It could also lead to an opportunity to admire the Dutch medical system>

Hilarious!

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness"--Mark Twain

Maryland
Level Contributor
5,040 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

After several visits to Amsterdam, the ex brought his $900 road bike over, with a substantial lock and chain, it was gone the 2nd day in the city. It was attached to a regular bike stand however it stood out from the crowd of other dented blacks. He was inside the bakery less than 5 mins. Of course, he had no insurance.

Whatever....

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
11,898 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: Cycling "Speed" on Cycling Lanes

Sunny - The correct way to lock a bike has become an art form in Amsterdam.

"Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

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