Amsterdam through British eyes

Cycling: To Wear a Helmet or Not?



When you visit Amsterdam, you will notice a distinct lack of people wearing cycle helmets. This might shock you if you come from somewhere where the cycling infrastructure isn’t as good. The general attitute here is that if there is an accident, it will be the fault of the person driving the car, and not the cyclist.

With numerous bike lanes and places to park your bike, there are a few things to think about if you are planning on cycling in Amsterdam, and one of those decisions is whether or not to wear a cycling helmet.

The first is how confident you are on a bike. If you haven’t cycled before, or are unsure and a bit wobbly you’re more likely to be in, or cause an accident. Confidence is absolutely key.

The second is how comfortable you are on the right hand side of the road. My induction to cycling was a little hairy. I come from the UK, where we cycle on the left side of the road. I went out with Michiel the first time, and was told the basic roadsigns for cyclists, and how to navigtate tram lines. The only problem was that he waited until the last minute to tell me the direction we were going in (during rush hour so there were a lot of bikes, trams and cars). After my induction I got used to it very quickly, and now I don’t think about it anymore.

The third is how comfortable you would feel cycling without a helmet. If wearing a helmet is something that you think is best for you, then nobody is going to try and stop you.

You might have some problems finding somewhere in Amsterdam to hire a cycle helmet though,since nobody here really wears them, but Amsterbike sais that if you really want to hire out helmets, they can rent them out to you. The other option is to bring your helmet with you on the plane. Whatever you decide, happy biking!






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