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Biking safely during Dutch winter

Dutch people are mad about bikes; it is common for them to bike no matter if it rains or shines. 

However, the frightful Dutch weather sometimes discourages the internationals to cycle during winter. 

As the days get shorter and the temperature goes lower, not only do we have to handle the cold (sometimes with additional wind and rain), but also we often have to bike in darkness.

Handy tips for cycling in the Netherlands during winter

Here are some handy tips for cycling during winter:

› Pay extra attention to the road when cycling

If it looks shiny, it is more than likely that there is a layer of ice on it.

› Adjust your bike seat to a low position

That way you could put your feet on the ground so more support can be sought if you tend to slip and fall.

› Stay away from the edge of the road

There is usually more snow and ice on the edge of the road.

› Plan your routes through as many clean streets as possible

Many city halls publish which streets are already salted, or swept after snow on their websites.

› Pay attention to cars

Cars and other vehicles need longer stopping distances and can slip more easily during this season.

Use winter wheels

Do-it-yourself tip: Use zip-ties for your bike tires.

Photo by Flickr user comedy_nose

› Avoid tram tracks at all cost

Especially when it is slippery, always cross a tram track so that your tires do not fall between the gaps and stuck in the rails.

› Don't forget your bicycle lamps

Visibility is a major concern when riding at dawn, dusk, in the rain and on a foggy day. Before you head out, be sure to check your front and rear lights.

› Wear layers of clothes

This helps maintain a flow of warm air between the layers. And remember: gloves are important.

All set and good to go?

Cycling during winter is actually not as bad as you think it might be. With good preparation and supported by the well-developed network of cycle paths in the Netherlands, this frosty season should not stop you from getting on your bike.

Ayu

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Ayu Mashita

Former Lifestyle Editor of IamExpat, music enthusiast, social media aficionado and brand strategist in the making :)

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