Blog: The Dutch and their bicycles
A match made in heaven
In a country with over 17 million inhabitants we count 22.8 million bicycles. This means indeed that every Dutch inhabitant owns 1.3 bicycles. The annual turnover of the industry is 1.6 billion Euro and it keeps 12,650 people at work. Every year 15 billion kilometers are being cycled in The Netherlands and there is 35,000 kilometers of cycle path. On average, every Dutch bicycle owner cycles 888 kilometers a year. Impressive, isn’t it?
Rain or shine, we just love our bicycles. Why? Because they are so convenient, and in a country as flat as The Netherlands, also known as ‘the low lands’, it is easy to enjoy riding a bike. Also on Dutch bicycles you sit up straight, just like how you sit on an office chair. Especially in a country as crowded as The Netherlands. We have 408 people per square kilometer and rank number 27 globally. When there isn’t much space, moving yourself on a bicycle makes life easy. You can park your bike almost everywhere and there are secured bicycle parkings available at many points in cities and train stations.
Whether you want to bring your children to school, go to work, get your groceries, most of all this is done on a bike. Apart from that, cycling is also a very popular sport. Professional and semiprofessional cycling competitions are organized throughout the year. Both for speed as for endurance. Also mountain biking (even though there are no mountains in The Netherlands) is very popular. More and more the electric bike is gaining popularity. Currently there are 1.9 million e-bikes and this number is growing rapidly.
The old school Dutch brands Gazelle, Batavus and Sparta are still very popular because of their robust quality and they withstand the Dutch climate very well. New trendy local brands like Johnny Loco , Van Moof and Fietsfabriek are gaining popularity and tailor to young urban professionals for which their bicycle is part of their image.
When visiting The Netherlands indulge yourself in the local tradition and rent yourself a bike. Only then you can truly experience why the Dutch love their bikes so much.
Justine ten Hoorn
October 2nd 2018