Typical Dutch cycling habits

Typical Dutch cycling habits

Many of the Dutch cycle to school or to work. You may be wondering: what do they wear? Everything goes, as long as you make sure that nothing can get stuck in your chain or spokes. By cycling regularly, your will get used to your bicycle. Before you know it, you may find yourself cycling two abreast or riding with a passenger on the luggage carrier. Very Dutch! (This is allowed, but always remember to keep an eye on the road users around you…)

While not very frequently, you may find yourself in a situation where others, probably Dutch people, are yelling something at you. This could be a warning sign, but… what exactly are they saying?

  • "Hóooooooo": with the ‘o’ sound as in ‘go’; this yell means that you should stop;
  • “Afstappen!”: This could be used by the police and means that you need to get off your bicycle.
  • “Pas op!”: “Be careful!”

Traffic regulation for cyclists

Student cities may not be the best example when it comes to cyclists adhering to the rules. Students may tend to claim right of way even when they do not have it, which results in dangerous situations and frustrated car drivers. Know and adhere to the traffic rules!

Clothing and shoes

You will find that the Dutch cycle in almost any outfit: casual clothing, business suits, sports outfits,… Their destination defines their choice of clothing. This is very different to many other countries where people only cycle in sportswear. Keep the following advice in mind when hopping on your bicycle!

  • Fold a long coat underneath you and sit on it. It will prevent your coat from ending up between the spokes;
  • Flare legs can get stuck between your spokes or chain. Aside from the chain guards and dress guards, you can buy a trouser clip to click around your pants at the level of your ankle;
  • Many shops sell waterproof clothing that you wear over your regular cloths. You can find them in (bicycle) shops as well as online.
  • Shoes with smooth soles tend to be slippery and slide off the pedals as you are cycling. Try to wear shoes with rough soles.