Bicycles and Cycling in the Netherlands
Cycling is the most popular method of transportation in the Netherlands. Read everything you need to know about using a bike and cycling in the region here.
As the Netherlands is predominantly flat, bicycling is the most popular method of transportation. Many city dwellers do not even feel the need to possess a car, as cycling is so convenient: it's cheap, fast, and healthy.
As virtually every resident of the Netherlands owns at least one bike, we have more bikes than inhabitants. Bikes are used to commute to work, do the shopping, etc. People mostly use upright bikes, while racing bikes and so-called mountain bikes are used for leisure and sports.
The famous Dutch bicycle lanes ensure a safe and pleasant journey. There are cycling lanes within cities, in the countryside (in Dutch: platteland, meaning flatlands) and there is an 18-km fast cycling route between Arnhem and Nijmegen, making Lent and Elst very easily accessible by bike.
If you have to travel by train it is sometimes also possible to bring your bike with you for later in the journey.
Locking your bike
Unfortunately, bicycle theft is a big problem in the Netherlands. 'Lock it or lose it' is an expression that is applicable to all major cities. So when you leave your bike anywhere, make sure you lock it properly!
- Use 2 locks: the standard factory-installed bicycle lock, and an extra separate U-shaped lock. Be sure to buy good quality locks.
- Put the second lock on your rear wheel, since your front wheel can easily be removed.
- Always attach your bike to an unmovable object, like a fence or pole.
- Use guarded bike parking facilities or park your bike in busy places.
- Don't leave your bike unattended overnight.
If your bike has been stolen, go to the police to file a theft report.
Getting a bicycle
There are many bike shops in cities where you can get new or second-hand bikes, or you can rent one for short or long term periods.
- Swapfiets provides rental bikes at a monthly subscription. They deliver the bike to your home within two days for free and offer a free repair service. Monthly subscriptions start at € 19.90 for a classic Dutch bike or € 23.90 for a bike with 7 gears and handbrakes.
- OV fiets: You can rent a bike at the central train station with a season ticket linked to your personal OV chipcard. It costs € 4,45 per 24 hours.
Bike shops - Nijmegen
The shops below sell bikes second-hand (in Dutch: tweedehands) or new. They also offer bicycle repair services.
- Bike Totaal Jos van Hees (on campus): Geert Grooteplein 22, Nijmegen
- Bike Werk: Bloemerstraat 125, Nijmegen
- De Concurrent: Van Trieststraat 23, Nijmegen
- Evers Janssen Tweewielers: Kan. Pelsstraat 70, Nijmegen
- Wheels: St. Annastraat 42, Nijmegen
- Rijwielshop Station Nijmegen: Stationsplein 7, Nijmegen
Or buy a bike second-hand online from private parties and shops on Marktplaats.nl.
Cycling lessons - Nijmegen
If you would like to take bicycling lessons before venturing out on your own, there are several bike schools in the Nijmegen area where you can learn how to cycle:
Fietsloket provides cycling lessons in Nijmegen and the surrounding villages. They offer customized cycling lessons, depending on your personal needs.
STEP teaches adult cycling courses. They will teach you to cycle at your own pace in a safe environment. You will learn to ride a bike in practice and learn the rules of the road. The course consists of several group meetings and is being taught in several locations throughout Nijmegen.
There are several beautiful cycling routes in the region. Check out the websites below to see what is possible in different areas, or look at possibilities to explore the Netherlands by bike.