A guide for international students
When you have arrived in Wageningen, you should have noticed that traveling by bike is totally embedded in Dutch society. Small children bike with their parents to primary school. Older children bike on their own to high school, students bike to university and many commuters travel by bike to their work as well. There are even more bikes than inhabitants in the Netherlands! The Dutch can’t live without their bikes and this sometimes results in crazy events. Think of the National Championship for biking with a headwind, which only takes place with a wind force of 7 on the Beaufort scale. This article argues why you should have a bike!
In a student city like Wageningen, traveling by bike is the standard. On the one hand is Wageningen such a small city that you can reach everything by bike within 15 minutes. On the other hand, it is the most sustainable form of transport! Moreover, it is also the most healthy option. Biking every day to the uni is actually the same as doing sports for free! As the Sports Foundation of WUR (SWU Thymos), we can only encourage that!
Is cycling for new students then just a great sustainable opportunity without any risks? Not exactly, cycling in the Netherlands can be chaotic. The combination of commuters, students and children can be a dangerous cocktail on the Dutch bike paths. Sometimes it seems like anarchy, but there are some important rules. Hand signals for example are crucial in the communication with other road users. When you turn right, you point your hand to the right and vice versa. Further, move to the right when you hear a bike bell, someone wants to overtake you. Wearing a helmet is not mandatory, but advised to inexperienced bikers. Bike lighting (rear and front) is obligated.
So, especially for new students, remember that your bike is the best form of transport in multiple ways. Become just like the Dutch, embrace the bicycle and it becomes an indispensable vehicle for you!
Do you need a helmet, or other bicycle materials? Take a look at www.helmonline.nl!