Read this post in: Dutch
Evelien writes a guest blog every other month for Weekends in Rotterdam. She shares her tips and experiences as a working mum in the city! In her latest post she shares tips for cycling in Rotterdam, such as possible ways to rent bikes, where you can park your bike in Rotterdam and 5 handy products for your bike.
Cycling in Rotterdam
Rotterdam is a perfect city for cycling. The city even has a multi-year plan to stimulate people to use bikes more and wants to increase the comfort for locals that ride a bike. For example, they want to introduce traffic lights that have sensors so they know when it’s raining and will turn green faster! As a cycling mom, I certainly welcome this. Evan and I have travelled a lot of kilometers by bike to playgrounds, the zoo or to grandpa. I also have the agreement with myself to bike to work at least three times a week.
Renting a bike in Rotterdam
As a tourist (and of course Rotterdammer) there are various ways to rent a bicycle. In addition to the options that you can read here on Weekends in Rotterdam, you can also rent an Obike or Swapfiets. I haven’t had the chance to use one of these myself, but I have done some research for this article.
Rotterdam is the first city in the Netherlands to use the OBike. The OBike can easily be found with an app on your phone and can be unlocked and left wherever you want! Ideal of course, that way you can easily go from A to B and you do not have to go back to A to return the bike. You can park the OBike at any place in the city where a bicycle is allowed to park. There is a deposit of 79 euros, but this is refunded within 30 days. For students, the deposit is cheaper: 49 euros.
Every Rotterdammer has most likely experienced that his or her bike has suddenly been stolen, then an OBike would be an easy solution. OBike is also an easy and cheap initiative if you only occasionally need a bike or for a short distances.
I haven’t tried the Obike myself, so I’ve read a couple of reviews. Unfortunately I’ve read in a lot of reviews that the Obike isn’t very comfortable to ride on, also in this review by One More Thing (only in Dutch). Try it out and see for yourself!
For students there is also the swapfiets. The idea is simple; you rent a bike for 12 euros a month and if something is broken then this is quickly repaired or the bike can be exchanged. There is no deposit and the subscription can be cancelled on a monthly basis. I wish I knew this when I was a student! Although, it probably didn’t exist back then, I haven’t been a student for a long time.
The reviews I’ve read about the Swapbike are very positive!
Where can you park your bike in Rotterdam?
Parking your car on the right spot is very normal. But you also have to put your bike in the right place, otherwise it can be removed by the government. This also applies to the OBikes, which can only be parked where other bikes can also be parked.
At the following locations you can find free spots to park your bike:
- Central Station
Other than those places, you’ll also find various racks in the city center where you can park your bike. There are always other bikes located at spots like that, so you can easily recognise it. For instance, in front of the Bijenkorf.
If you’ve parked your bike on a wrong spot and it has been taken away, be sure to check out Lost and Found.
5 Useful products in Rotterdam
3. Bike lamps
It’s mandatory to cycle with your lights on at night. Makes sense, because only then will other people see you. Usually a bike comes with a lamp, but often they stop working. Therefore it’s smart to have some spare batteries at home. Do you see a parked bicycle with its lights on? Turn them off, good for karma points.
5. Bicycle seat and buggy in one
I cycle a lot with Evan and that’s why I have a buggy holder on my mom bike. So I can fix the buggy on my bike. That thing makes my bike about half a meter longer, which is not always useful, especially if you have to get your bike out of the shed every day. For this blog I searched for an alternative and found this Swedish start up: Pahoj.
For the cycling mum this bicycle seat and buggy in one really great. For now you can only register to get updates!
I have the Yepp Maxi seat and I’m very satisfied about it.
That’s all! What are your (mom) bike tips? And have you ever used the Obike or Swapbike? If so, what is your experience with this?
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Evelien van Beurden
Evelien is guestblogger at Weekends in Rotterdam and works as a physical therapist at Aafje rehabilitation centre. Next to her work she is happily married with Urwin and mother to their son Evan. Every other month you can read a new piece by her about her life as a working mother in Rotterdam.