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Amsterdam Students' favorite transportation: Bicycle!

    Miriam

    Amsterdam Students' favorite transportation: Bicycle!

    Started by Miriam

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    Summer fun at Amsterdam's Vondelpark. (image by Jorge Royan)

     

    Amsterdam is a bicycle city! Especially for students!High heels woman on the bike: by

    Bicycle is an obsession in Amsterdam. But it is in no way an obsession without justification! There are so many reasons for bicycling in Amsterdam.

    OK, Amsterdam is a flat city with no hills, like the rest of the Netherlands.  Except some slight slopes on the historical bridges, you have to climb almost no slopes in the entire city! But it is much more than lack of hills that makes Amsterdam biking a fun thing to do!

    1.2 Million!

    Amsterdam has an excellent infrastructure in place for bikers. The city has a bicycle path network of 400 kilometers. This is an incredibly large network of bike paths given the compactness of Amsterdam! Most of these paths are clearly separated from the car roads and safe. As we talk about the numbers, Amsterdam has 1.2 million bicycles! For a city of 883.000 (2014) people, this means there are 1. times more bikes than people!

    In Amsterdam, you don't only have car parks, but also many bicycle parks. Almost every house, shop, any other building has a bike park. This can vary from a few locking irons in front to some indoor parking places. In addition, the ciy has several large guarded bicycle parks which can accomodate thousands of bikes. The good news is, most of these bike parks are free of charge, or charge only some nominal amounts for use...

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    A multi-story bike park in Amsterdam by "Airbete".

     

    It takes than an excellent infrastructure!

    What makes Amsterdam one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, is more than just an excellent infrastructure... Over the many decades of bicycle use, the city has developed a bicycle-culture. While in many other places in the world, the bicycle is the necessary transportation choice for the poor, in Amsterdam, bicycle is used by all socio-economic groups because of its convenience. It is very normal to see in Amsterdam, the rich and famous or wealthy businessmen in their penguin suits pedalling away.

    What makes bicycling a safe option is also the attitute and the regulation. Motorists are generally very considerate towards the cyclists. Yet, knowing the Dutch, this is not alone left to the mercy of the motorists of course... According to Dutch law, on any accident between a motorized vehicle and a bicycle, the motorist is always guilty. Even if the accident is caused by the fault of the cyclist! Sometimes you see the extreme cases, where cyclists abuse this law, patronizing the motorists (and foolishly endangering their own safety). In any case, this law forces motorists to be extra vigilant.And extra vigilant they are!

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    "Amsterdam Bicycles". Licensed under CCA-Share Alike 2.5 -by OuWiki

     

    Amsterdam students love bicycling!

    That makes Amsterdam a great student city. The city has two world-class universities and several other higher educational institutes.  And in this city of bikes, surprise surprise, biking is the number one choice of transportation for students!

    This is despite the fact that public transportation is often free or very cheap for students via some student specific cards etc. What sets apart bicycle is its convenience and the fact that it lends itself perfectly to spontaneity.

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    Cyclers on an Amsterdam bridge. (image: Paul van Galen)

     

    That feeling of freedom!

    With bicycle, you are not bound to timetables of metro, tram or bus services. Once you decide to move around, all you need to do is, just hop on your bike and start pedalling. Often, you arrive your destination much faster than you would via public transport, as you do not have to do all those in-between stops and biking is indeed door-to-door transportation. Unlike a car, bike is easy to take it along to whereever you go. When you go walking, say in many interesting shopping streets of Amsterdam, there is no need to go back to where you had parked your car, or walk to the next tram stop. Just hop on your bike.

    In the weekends, you will see many bikes around Amsterdam's many night clubs. Once you own a bike, you can ride home whenever you want. Say you go out for a night club on a Friday evening and have fun deep into the early hours of the next day. Just hop on your bike and reach home without having to pay for expensive taxi fee or relatively high fee for a night bus.

    This efficiency and the freedom of cycling is unbeatable!

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    Amsterdam University's CREA Café is thè place to take a break or get together after class. The café is also the foyer of the CREA Theater and CREA Muziekzaal. Its location, by the Grimburgwal waterside and just next to the Oudemanhuispoort, attracts an interesting mix of people. (Image by Jorge Láscar).

     

    The dark side :-)

    Most of the students in Amsterdam do their commuting between their homes and the universities via bikes. So when your bike is stolen, it is bad news! Especially with your tight budget! image

    Like many bid cities, petty crime occurs also in Amsterdam. Althought it has gotten better in the recent years, bicycle theft remains a problem. But it is a problem for those who do not take simple precautions! Always have a good lock with your bike. In Amsterdam most people's bicycle locks are more expensive than the value of their bikes. But it pays to have a good lock. Just make sure that you bike is locked to an immobile object (a bike iron, lamp post etc) and make sure to lock the body of the bike to the immobile object. The worst you can do is only lock the front wheel. Amsterdam outdoor (and those unguarded) bike parks are full of front wheels locked to the immobile object, with the rest of the bike missing.

    By the way, as I mentioned before, Amsterdam has many guarded bike parks and many of them are free. Even if you ever have tp pay for thpse bike parks, charges are very low.

     

     

     

    Amsterdam, the great city for university students

    Amsterdam is a bike paradise but it is just one of the many things which makes Amsterdam a very attractive student city. No need to mention World class universities. With University of Amsterdam's QS rank ("2014-2015") of 50 and URAP rank ("2013-2014) o 53, it is more "World beating" than "World class" though. The other university in the city 'Vrije Universiteit' does not do bad either with QS rank of 171 and URAP rank of 115.

    Amsterdam is truly a great student city. COME AND DISCOVER YOURSELF!

     

     

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    credits for smaller images:

    High heels woman on the bike: by "Faceme"

    Stolen bike (front wheel): Christian Ovaska


     

     

     

     

     

    Universiteit van Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam)

    Universiteit van Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam)

    The University of Amsterdam (Dutch: Universiteit van Amsterdam) or the UvA is a public research university located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.