The Netherlands is full to bursting with all kinds of bikes – tandem bikes, bakfietsen, electric bikes, oma fietsen – there’s something for everyone and for every occasion. It can be so tempting when you’ve just moved to the country to hop on a bike and go about your business. But so many people haven’t been on a bicycle since they were a kid, and so aren’t particularly comfortable as an adult on a bike.
But don’t worry, you’re never too late to brush up on your skills. Here are some of the opportunities available for expats living in the Netherlands who may need one or two (or three or four) lessons before they’re able to jump on a bike.
The Fietsersbond (Cyclists Union) doesn’t offer any lessons, however they do have a handy search tool on their website where you can find a cycling instructor in your local area by entering your location.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you can adjust your search preferences. If you’re on the hunt for individual or group classes, then you can specify your preference, or if you’re looking for adult or children’s classes. The information for each teacher also lets you know what languages they speak.
The Fietsbond also has a guide for internationals who have moved to the Netherlands and are looking to take up biking. You can find it here.
De FietsMeesters (BikeMasters) are based in Utrecht, and offer lessons at 12 locations across the city, specifically designed to help adults feel comfortable on two wheels.
You can sign up for a course, which costs 15 euros and is made up of 10 classes. And you don’t even have to have a bike to learn how to bike, because the FietsMeesters provide practice bikes (free of charge) at every lesson. Ideal!
Het Fiets College
Het Fiets College has schools in Amsterdam and The Hague, with past students ranging from just four years old to 90! They offer both beginner and advanced courses, with the beginner course made up of 10 one-hour classes. If your whole family is looking to learn, then you can opt for the College’s expat course, designed to suit the whole family. You’ll all have the opportunity to learn Dutch traffic rules, practice key routes (i.e. between school and home, or your home and the local shops).
They also offer a free service where their employees can help you purchase your first bike to help make sure you find one that’s right for you.
Koala Bike Lessons
Koala Bike Lessons offer a variety of classes for anyone looking to master all the aspects of biking in Amsterdam. They also tailor their lesson plans depending on your skill and goals, depending on whether you’re a complete beginner, or a more experienced cyclist who is just looking to get acquainted with Dutch biking rules and culture.
Alternatively, you could book one of their tours if you’re confident you have the skills, but want some much-needed practice putting the skills to good use on the chaotic streets of Amsterdam. Plus, it’s a great way to experience the sights and sounds of city. Two birds, one stone!
The Bike Instructor
Alternatively, if you feel comfortable on a bike but are just looking to brush up on some of the cycling rules in the Netherlands, then this video for is for you. The Bike Instructor was kind enough to put together a little video with all the tips you need to comfortable take to your bike when travelling through the streets of Amsterdam – or any other Dutch city for that matter.
Whatever you do, make sure that, when you get on your bike for the school rush or the morning commute, you know that you can do it safely and responsibly. Happy cycling!