In the Netherlands, being a student and cycling go hand in hand. This is the ultimate transportation way for a busy student city where you can reach all destinations quickly. If you choose a bike you are mobile and independent. What is important to look at before you buy and use a bike? If you buy a second hand bike make sure it is in good condition so that you don’t have to fix it after a week. Pay attention to the tires and brakes so you can bike safely.
Buy a good lock for your bike (or a heavy chain) to decrease the chance that your bike gets stolen. A good lock is quite a big investment, but if your bike gets stolen you would lose more money. Yearly, many bikes are being stolen in the Netherlands and you don’t want yours to be one of them. Wanna get a bike insurance? Go for a ART 2 slot. These locks meet the requirements for insurance.
Also make sure that your bike has good lighting and that everything on the bike is according to the Dutch law. This means good lighting both front and back but also reflectors on the tires and a red reflector on the back of your bike. When you have a bike without any lighting it is possible to buy some seperate lights for a low price that you can attach to the bike yourself when it’s dark outside. When you’ll get arrested without lighting, you have to pay a fine and as a student you don’t want that to happen. After all, you’d better spend your money on other things.
Do you live in a big city where there is always heavy traffic? Make sure you are clearly visible by your fellow cyclists and other road users. Especially in the winter when it’s getting dark early. Good lighting is very important, but also consider clothing that reflects, or an extra reflection ribbon that you can wear around your arm for instance.
An organisation that does all of this for you is: Swapfiets! For a fixed monthly fee you get a swap bike and they make sure this bike always works, has light etc. More information? Click here.
In a large city you can also make good use of public transport for transport from A to B. For longer distances this is a good solution but in most cases using your bike is the fastest way of transport. When it’s crowded you can quickly move with your bike between all the vehicles, while the bus has to wait. It’s also possible to bring your bicycle on the train (source: NS.nl). With your own bike you have the freedom to go and stand wherever you want without being dependent on someone else. In addition, cycling is also beneficial, good for the environment and good for your own health. What else do you want as a student?