In the Netherlands, being a student and biking go hand in hand. This is the ultimate transportation way for a busy student city where you can reach quickly all destinations. If you choose for a bike you are also mobile and independent. What is important to look at before you buy and use a bike?
Buy a good second hand 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 at the tyres and brakes so you can bike safely.
Buy a good lock
Buy a good lock for your bike (or a heavy chain) to decrease the chance your bike gets stolen. A good lock is 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 fulfill the requirements for insurance.
Choose good lighting
Also make sure that your bike has good lighting and that everything is on the bike 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 loose 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 huge fine and as a student you don’t want that to happen. After all, you’d better spend your money on other things.
Make sure you are clearly visible
Do you live in a big city where it 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 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.
Cycling alternative for OV
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 for instance has to wait. It is 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?