Tips for Cycling in Dutch Winter

Although it can get cold and windy sometimes, Holland is not a country where temperatures get so extreme you can’t cycle anymore.  Locals ánd international fans of the Low Lands commute from home to work nearly every working day by bicycle. Even in winter.  If you also want to stay in shape in winter and do what the local does here are some cycling tips Dutch winter.

Prepare-for-cycling-in-Dutch-winter Verita's Visit

7 Steps to keep cycling in Dutch winter

1. Take a look at the profile of your tires.  If the profile is gone and the tyre smooth, it’s best to replace the bike tire. There are winter bike tyres available, but these are quite an investment. The Dutch Cyclists Union indicated that winter tyres for bicycles only work when there is snow. Dutch designer Cesar van Rongen came up with a fluorescent yellow snow chain for bikes.  If the road gets icy, you need studded bicycle tyres. Some say -releasable- tie wraps also do a great job to keep some grip.


2.  Reduce the pressure of your bike tires. In autumn and winter, the precipitation tends to make Dutch roads slippery. Softer tires increase the comfort and control over trails in less than ideal conditions.

One front light and one back light on your bicycle is permitted in the Netherlands. These wheel lights are not allowed. Copyright picture & more info on:

3.  Make sure your bicycle lights are working and your bike reflectors are clearly visible. Although the bike wheel lights give enough visibility it is illegal to use them. You are only allowed to use two lights, a white light at the front and a red light at the back of your bike. Using blinking or flashing lights on your bike is not allowed in the Netherlands.

4.  Can you easily reach the ground with your feet? If the answer is no, lower your saddle slightly.

5.  Be careful with carrying stuff on the bicycle in winter. The Dutch may be born on a bike with bags hanging on the steering and children in the seats at the back, you don’t have to mimic them in everything they do. Don’t hang any shopping bags on your bike’s steering in Dutch winter and make sure your children are well-seated on your bicycle.
6. Take a look at the weather forecast and plan your cycle route in Holland accordingly.
7. Protect yourself against the cold, rain and wind. Wear multiple layers. Cycling against the wind makes you warm. Use a thermoshirt or a shirt of material that absorbs sweat. Invest in good rainwear. It should be wind- and waterproof and breathable.  Waterproof gloves with grip and rain shoe covers complete a good winter cycling outfit.


Go skating with your ice bike!

Enjoy cycling in Holland in winter!

Are you really not up for commuting from home to work by bike this winter? Stay in shape and try out another typical Dutch activity: ice skating (with or without bike)
Looking forward to a bike ride in spring, summer or fall? Check out the cycle tours Verita’s Visit. Of course, if you have your own idea for a bike ride, please contact me.

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Vera ter Beest

Make your heart b(l)oom and explore Holland by bike with Verita's Visit Holland.
Born on a bicycle and raised in Delft (NL) I love the Dutch countryside. With Verita's Visit Holland I organise bike tours & team events. I take you on and off the beaten track to meet tulip growers, cheese farmers and lords of castles. My specialisation: Keukenhof area, Cheese farm region and Delft countryside. Just send me an e-mail at veritasvisit(@) to get more info.

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