The Dutch biking philosophy can be summed up in two words: calm & assertive. Embody these two qualities and you'll have a much easier and enjoyable time out there. If you’ve already arrived here, you won’t be surprised to hear that there are more bicycles than people, by a large margin! With hundreds of kilometers of separated bike paths, you’ll find it enjoyable and much easier to get around on two wheels in Utrecht. We are proud to have the world’s biggest bike parking garage at the central train station - 12,500 spots.
When you’re ready to saddle up and ride, you have many choices to buy a bicycle, both online and in person. While new bikes are readily available, you can do as the locals do and find a solid used bike, sold at most shops. A good one will run you about €150. You can certainly go cheaper, via sites like MarktPlaats www.marktplaats.nl (in Dutch). You’ll find that most places that sell bikes often also fix them too. They’re called fietsenwinkels. No appointment needed, and for minor repairs, same day service is generally possible.
While it may look to you like bikes can be (and are) parked anywhere, be aware that there are certain spots that it’s prohibited, and may result in your bicyclr being taken by city officials. Don’t worry, you can go pay the fine and retrieve it from the municipal depot. There are some rules that you as a cyclist should know, but also keep in mind that not all Dutch cyclists take the rules or traffic lights very seriously, so always be alert. In the Netherlands no helmets are required. To keep everybody happy and safe, always signal where you’re turning by pointing the direction, or down if you’re slowing/stopping in an unexpected place. Be aware that people will pass you on all sides, so practice proactive turn signaling, especially when going left.
Bike lessons for adults
Given not all of you were born on two wheels as the Dutch seem to have been, it's natural that you may be feeling a little shaky about biking, or perhaps have never learned how to bike. You’re in luck! ‘Harten voor sport’ offers English cycling lessons for adults in Utrecht called The Bikemasters. Over the course of 10 lessons, bike provided, you’ll be confidently in the thick of things in no time. Location: Community centre De Nieuwe Jutter Address: Amerhof 66, Utrecht Contact: Defietsmeesters.nl (in Dutch)