Getting around Amsterdam: bike v. tram

Jun 30th, 2014, 03:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
Well i mis wrote physical abuse - I meant resulting in an accident that may cause physical pain.

Q- where did you bike - I can see if you stay OFF the main bike arteries you could be fine - if you putz along cobbled canalside roads, etc. I'm just saying it is not something one wants to jump into without experience in biking in such an environment or stick to putzing along canals.

We agree to differ on that and I will still caution folks about doing something that sounds dreamy but which could end up terribly - an accident, falling on tram tracks - know the rules of the bibke path too - not just jump into the fray.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,225
Just sayin'....

We take cycling trips.

I've done single roads with traffic that are smaller than paths in Ireland and felt just fine (other than having to face one too many Border Collies on my own).

We've competed with milk trucks on highways on the west side of the South Island in New Zealand (not for the faint of heart).

Heck, I've been flashed on a coastal road in Puglia, and I still went on up the hill rather than retreat in the face of...well, you know.

I would do all of the above and more again in a heartbeat.

I WILL NOT--I repeat--I WILL NOT cycle within Amsterdam proper.

Here's my reasoning. There's a sort of learned rhythm in the locals' cycling there that would take me many days to learn. I could compare it to a person who drives an automatic having to learn how to drive a standard in the middle of NYC.

As so many have mentioned, it's hard to learn how to dodge cyclists in Amsterdam as a pedestrian let along attempting that as a cyclist. Although I get if you were REALLY good a Dodge Ball in gym class, eh, you might want to give it a go.

I LOVE Amsterdam. I've been there twice and would adore going again. I would certainly be willing to cycle there along the canals and so on and hope to do so in the near future.

But since I was a Dodge Ball flunky, I'm not biking the tram areas anytime soon.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
ditto to everything Allesandra says - so true IME of biking in Amsterdam off and on for decades - most folks will have a horrid time doing something that sounds so so romantic! phillyfan take note of these comments. You B&B owner is thinking in local terms, not that of a foreigner - the worst possible advice and one that could result in a terrible experience.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,459

elberko is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,225
oops--did not read, elberko. I got lost in all the litigation comments. So thanks for doing the wake-up call.

For what it's worth, I do remember when I was getting advice on cycling in Ireland, I don't think I got one positive response. Everyone seemed to warn me that we were on the Road to Perdition. The roads were unsafe--narrow, bumpy, full of bad drivers, all that driving-on-the-left business.

Luckily, where we cycle near my home, the roads...
...have no berm
...are uneven
...are rolling hills
...have potholes
...are driven by crazy drivers
and somehow we were still living.

Hence, we ventured to Ireland, cycled, liked it, and went back two more times to repeat the experience.

So if PhillyFan was cycling in downtown Philly, I should have supposed she could deal and I am ashamed for not noting.

However, for the average person who does rails-to-trails kinda stuff, I still would vote thumbs down.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,714
Local knowledge is vital in this respect. For instance, Hoogstraat, between Damstraat and Jodenbreestraat is reserved for bicycles in its entirety. It also cuts right through the red light district, crossing Oudezijds Voorburgwal, Oudezijds Achterburgwal and Kloveniersburgwal. Many tourists emerge from these canals and will occupy the crossing, figuring out what to do next, or reviewing snapchat posts on their phones and what not. But Hoogstraat is a major thoroughfare for bikes, so people don't want to stop and start there three times in a row. Also people will just step out and don't look about them, usually because they've smoked a little something.
menachem is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,714
ask yourself if you would be comfortable cycling in this kind of bike traffic:
menachem is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,714
and a view from the bike in the Hoogstraat cycle through route
menachem is offline  
Jun 30th, 2014, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
a video is worth a thousand or in this case a few words - if not used to such crowded aggressive cycling stay off the bike in Amsterdam!
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2014, 01:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,962
We stayed on Herengracht not far from Centraal. We biked to the park away from Centraal, around there, back around the canal (not sure which one). Then we stopped near the Spui tram since I saw an English bookstore I wanted to see. Then we biked up to Dam square where we stopped again to get money. We biked further up the road, toward Centraal, in the center area, to return the bikes.
PhillyFan is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Nov 20th, 2016 08:45 PM
Jul 17th, 2015 10:47 AM
Dec 3rd, 2008 03:36 AM
Jun 21st, 2005 02:52 PM
Dec 18th, 2004 07:03 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:08 AM.