The one thing everyone knows about Amsterdam (or should) is that a lot of people use bikes to get around. Generally, that would mean a lot of confusion on the streets considering the options for a private bike tour Amsterdam has to offer, but rest assured there are plenty of rules of the road in place to prevent that from happening. Even so, cycling your way through the city is anything but relaxing, which is why you should know and follow some of the following rules.
Many cyclists in the city make use of hand signals, and you should do the same. Stopping or turning without signaling can mean that fast-moving local cyclists plow into you. It’s all simple, really: before turning right, point right with your right hand; before turning left, point left with your left hand. Before stopping, point the left hand to the ground, palm facing to the back. Take the caution of never making sudden stops while in the bike lane.
Amsterdam has veritable mini roads for its bikes to travel, and these have their own traffic lights, turning lanes, and stop lines, much like you have for regular driving. Here, you just need to bear in mind that you are supposed to stop at the crosswalks when there are other people waiting to cross. There will also be cyclists who don’t, so take the measure of signaling for their sakes and yours.
This rule too is followed variably. You, as a visitor, would probably be moving more slowly than the rest of the cyclists who live in the city. That means letting them pass, which is easy if you ride to the right of the lane. This even sets some room aside for those motor scooters that you see a lot. The only time it is smart to ride in the center of the lane is when there is one car or more parked to the right, because it affords you some clearance in case someone opens a door too quickly.
Apart from the above things, you need to make sure you do not ride the incorrect way on a bike path, cross at a point where streets meet, ride in pedestrian areas, or ride immediately after drinking. The last is a total no-no, because it has been proven time and again that alcohol does not mix well with bikes, even if you are not riding on the road proper.
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