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Now We Know Why the Netherlands Is a Cycling Paradise

By Adam Marsal

An average Dutch adult cycles 1 000 kilometres per year. Surprisingly, teenagers cycle twice as much, making it 2 000 kilometres thanks to commuting to and from school. Have you ever wondered what makes cycling in the Netherlands so accessible? We have found out.

1. According to the European Cyclist Federation, the Netherlands is considered one of the safest countries in the world for cyclists.

2. Even kids are transported in special cargo bikes called bakfiets from an early age.

Family cycling in the Vondelpark with children in Bakfiets carrier bike Amsterdam Holland Netherlands. © Profimedia, Alamy

3. It’s cheap, so it suits the proverbial Dutch interest in cost saving.

4. In the Netherlands, there are over 32 000 km of dedicated cycle paths, so you can go almost anywhere without worrying about car traffic.

5. Because half of the adult population travel less than 7.5 kilometres to work, and this trip can be easily done by bike.

6. The government literally pays people to cycle. If you cycle to work, you will get 0.19 euro worth of credit per each kilometre. The only condition is that the distance must be agreed on by both companies and their employees.

Hovenring in the Netherlands

7. Apart from that, the country has decided to invest 345 million euros in cycling infrastructure in order to get an additional 200 000 people into cycling in the next three years.

8. It’s easy to grab a bike for a ride, as there are 23 million bicycles in the country with a population of 17 million. You just hop on a bike and go because bicycle helmets are not obligatory.

9. Cyclists are considered innocent when it comes to an accident with another means of transport.

10. There is mandatory cycling education at schools and the kids have to pass a bicycle traffic test.

Early morning in Bussum. © Profimedia, Alamy

11. Cycling is effortless as the country is incredibly flat.

12. Because 15 existing cycle paths are being turned into cycling freeways. Additionally, 25 000 bicycle parking spots will be created in the near future.