No matter how seemingly exciting it is to enjoy the prospect of visiting a foreign country, that excitement is still not a valid reason for you to get careless about yourself and your belongings. You still need to keep a close and responsible eye over all that you are bringing with you for that trip. And yes, in the case of Amsterdam, that includes your bike.
The Bicycle Culture in Amsterdam
So let’s back up a little bit. Before talking about how to secure your bike, you first need to acquaint yourself with one solid fact: riding bikes as a means of transportation is a big thing in Amsterdam. For one thing, the city in itself is worth seeing and experiencing outside the pretentious comfort of a car. For another thing, it’s also great to use those legs for something other than mere standing or sitting, right?Thus, it’s true, if you want to enjoy Amsterdam, you have got to learn how to ride that bike.
Securing Your Bike
Now comes the real deal. Given that you already see and appreciate the value of riding a bike while getting around Amsterdam, the next thing you need to think about is the fact that you need to keep your bike secured in a city like Amsterdam. The logic behind it all is pretty legitimate. You see, because Amsterdam is a bike-riding territory, you can anticipate a high demand for these bikes, which sometimes results to cases of bike stealing. Not to worry, though, if you care careful enough, then you have nothing to worry about.
First: get at least two locks.
Does that sound a bit extravagant? Or are you tempted to think that one is just right, and two is too much? Well, that’s where you’re gravely wrong. You see, getting two locks is the (first) way to go, precisely because with two locks, your bike won’t be that easy to steal. Pretty easy to figure out, isn’t it?
Second: remember to attach the frame to a bike rack or pole.
You might come from a city or country where cars are the reigning rulers of the road. In that set-up, your bicycle is probably not even given a second look by those who have not so noble intentions. But then again, remember that you’re in Amsterdam. And in Amsterdam, a bicycle is the name of the game. Hence, if you’re going to that nearby grocery store, and you would like to make sure that you’ll still have a bicycle to look forward to when you get back, do attach it to a stable pole or designated rack for bikes.
Third: take note of the all-important details of how your bike looks.
It won’t be a surprise to find out that bikes look mostly like each other, so it would be of great help if you could see how your own bike is different from the rest. Do you have a special sticker that you can’t find anywhere else? Or better yet, take note of your bike’s frame reference, as that should do the trick.
So, no matter how many times you hear it from experienced travellers, it never becomes less true – being new to a country or city is never an excuse to get careless.