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The Netherlands (Holland) - Cycling

Cycling is extremely popular as a form of daily transport in Holland, and there are an estimated 16 million bicycles in the country, approximately the same as the number of people in the Dutch population. There are designated cycle lanes (fietspad) on many roads which must be used by cyclists and are marked either by a blue sign with a white cycle symbol, or by red-coloured tarmac on the road. If there is no cycle lane, cyclists must use the road, not the footpath.

By law, bicycles must have white front and red rear lights which are in working order, and fines are payable for those who fail to observe this. Cyclists are generally required to observe the same road rules as motor vehicle users, unless there is a road sign indicating otherwise.

Most cyclists use a practical, sturdy bicycle, and these can be purchased new for around €250 to €500 Euros, or second hand for about €50 to €150. Second hand bicycles are sold in shops and via online marketplaces such as, and are also often advertised in the small ads sections of newspapers and on noticeboards in newsagents and other public places, with the Dutch names for a women’s bike indicated by the term “damesfiets” and a man’s bike by the term “herenfiets.” Bicycles can be hired from railways stations on a daily basis for payment of around €6 plus a deposit of up to €100; there is also a public transportation bicycle scheme in operation in most larger towns and cities in which cycles can be rented for a reduced cost of around €2.5 per 20 hour period or for a discounted monthly fee.

Bicycles are often stolen and sold on in the Netherlands, so you should be on your guard when buying one. It is illegal to buy a stolen bike and buyers can be arrested. The theft problem also means that bikes should always be securely locked when left unattended. Most railways stations have designated cycle parking with security guards present, and this can be used for a payment of around €1 per day, or a discounted monthly fee of less than €10.

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