So, you arrived in Holland, got your fancy red saddled bike from EasyFiets and now what? You are about to move yourself into the hectic cycle life of Leiden. I bet you can use some tips how to survive this adventure.
Riding your bike
First of all, learn how to ride your fiets properly. Kasper and Robbert are more than willing to give you some lessons. But just make sure you know how to keep standing between all the Dutch experienced cyclists. Ride on the right of a cycling path, use your arms to point out where you are going and use your fietsbell to let people know you’re coming.
Parking your bike
Now you are ready to hit the road, it is important to know how and where you can park your loving fiets. Preferably park it in a parkinglot for bicycles, a place full of bikes and bicycle racks, and lock it properly. Always attach it to something, a bicycle rack, lamppost, tree, you name it. There are some restricted areas in Leiden where it is forbidden to park your fiets; the golden rule is to always park it in a bicycle rack. Do not park it in front of Central Station. Even if you are in a hurry to catch a train, just don’t. Signs will tell you where not to park your bike. If you didn’t listen and did park your bike where it is forbidden, there is a possibility that the Leiden municipality has taken your fiets. Go to http://www.fffw-leiden.nl/ and click on “Klik hier voor Foute fietsen”. Browse through the pictures to see if your fiets is among them. When you see your EasyFiets go to Willem Barentszstraat 20, bring your passport + 26 euro’s (only PIN) and the keys to unlock your fiets. When you don’t see your EasyFiets, it probably means it’s stolen.
Riding in Leiden
You’ll notice you quickly find your way in Leiden on your EasyFiets. Use it to go to work, study, groceries and bars. Some areas are forbidden to fiets. When you do, you’ll risk a fine of around 50 euro’s. So just don’t. The Haarlemmerstraat (the street where all the shops are) is an example of a forbidden riding place during daytime. Fietsen on the market on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s is forbidden and moreover very hard with all the people buying their cheese, stroopwafels and broodje haring.
Some other tips..
Make sure your lights are on when it’s dark outside, so all the motorists see you exploring the nightlife of Leiden and you won’t get fined. Another tip: approaching a busy intersection, pay attention! Everyone is just going his own way without taking into account other daredevils. But keep in mind that busses are stronger than you and your EasyFiets…
Still daring to ride a bicycle around Leiden? Good choice! Is everything clear to you? Need any tips about Leiden? Don’t be afraid to ask! We are happy to help you and give you a pleasant time on your fiets in Leiden. Oh, and by the way: if riding a normal bike is to dull for you and you are looking for another bicycle challenge, there is also the possibility to rent a tandem or bedjak at EasyFiets!
How about you? What is your experience with fietsen in Leiden?