Why you should rent bikes with the family
We know what you’re thinking – letting your kids loose on the bustling streets of Amsterdam sounds a little scary. Will they be safe, will it be fun, will they be capable of it? Let us show you why cycling with the family will be the best decision you make on your Amsterdam trip.
With 513 kilometres of dedicated cycle lanes, and child-friendly spots to learn, Amsterdam is the safest city to ride with the clan. For a little more colour on general bike safety in Amsterdam, check out our handy guide here.
Let the kids show you what they’re made of
In many countries, learning to ride a bike is an important part of a child’s education. Nowhere more so than in the Netherlands. Kids as young as eight will often take themselves to school, deftly navigating the cycle lanes with full confidence of their parents to get there and back in one piece.
It’s a great way to do things: introducing independence and responsibility sooner rather than later. And it’s not just Dutch kids who can step up to this. You can feel confident that with the right equipment and instruction, your family can safely navigate the streets of Amsterdam.
Cycling has a way or turning adults into kids and kids into adults
When families set off with their bikes from our shop it’s more or less as you’d expect. A gaggle of kiddies sandwiched between mum and dad. A meticulous single file, turn signals filtering down the line like dominoes. When they come back it’s a slightly different story. It’s often the youngest leading the gang, with parents bringing up the rear looking like they just got off a rollercoaster.
With its 513 kilometres of dedicated cycle paths, which have recently been made almost entirely free of motorised traffic, this is a city built around the bicycle. You have space to go at your own speed as you gradually get acclimatised to the cycle code.
What’s more, bikes have right of way over cars, and everyone pays particular attention to younger cyclists. At YourCityBike, we make sure to adjust all rides to fit all sizes, and explain everything you need to know to bike with confidence and safety in Amsterdam.
This is an exciting, age-appropriate challenge, that you and your family will never forget.
It's not all XXX in Amsterdam
Well… Except the flag.
We know not everything in Amsterdam is totally suited to younger visitors. But there’s a lot of city beyond the coffee shops, prostitutes, and peep shows. Cycling is one of the best activities that all ages can enjoy together. Prepare yourself for some serious family bonding!
Biking down the canals (grachten) and special cycle paths is a perfect starting point for those confident on two wheels. However, if you want a totally relaxed practice ground for all ages, there are a couple great options for you.
We often suggest people head straight to Vondelpark (check out our guide to Vondelpark here), five minutes down the road from our shop. Away from the sound and sight of engines, it’s a chilled place to find your way around your bike, and worthy of exploration in its own right. If anyone in the party is still at the learning stage, it’s only 12 minutes’ walk down to the park. There, you’ve got wide paths and lots of grass to get acclimatised to the bikes. Roll along, enjoy the fresh air, and choose your spot for a picnic by the lake.
For the perfect family expedition, take yourself half an hour south. You’ll find yourself in Amsterdamse Bos, the sprawling forest on the outskirts of the city. With its ancient woods, network of lakes and rivers, and its 14km of cycle paths, this is the ideal place to be at one with your bike, with nature, and with your family. There’s a climbing park, a legendary pancake house, and – best of all – an organic goat farm!
Young or old, human or cat, we've got you covered
At YourCityBike we have bikes, equipment, and helmets to suit all ages and styles. Here’s a little rundown of our top of the line equipment.
Cargo Bike - 'Bakfiets'
I sometimes think Amsterdammers are playing a city-wide game to see how much they can fit in their cargo bike. The current record I’ve seen is three kids, one suitcase, and a golden retriever.
For ultimate safety and comfort, we recommend having two younger children in the hold. The bike comes complete with harnesses so you can be sure that even the most Houdini-minded kids will be safe and secure. What’s more, you pedal from behind so you can keep a keen eye both on the road, and on your precious cargo. Be sure to book ahead, as the bakfiets is very popular.
Child Seat Rental
For the very youngest (approx. 8 months to 3 years old), we securely fasten our front child seat to your City Bike. A visor shields them from wind and dust, and there’s a handle for them to grip as you speed them along.
One word of warning – they usually like it so much they not want to get out at the end!
The next stage up is the classic rear child seat. This accommodates kids aged between 1 and 6 years old. They can lie back and enjoy the comfort of this seat while mum or dad pushes through a leg work out ahead of them. Full specs available here.
Tandem Bike Rental
Our two-person bike offers a middle ground between the total freedom of cycling yourself, and being strapped on to the back of a parent’s bike. Mum or dad can take the lead, dealing with steering, bell operation, and the majority of the thrust, while younger riders can chill on the rear saddle, and pedal as much or as little as they like. I suggest taking it easy – Dad won’t know, and could probably do with some extra exercise.
Kid's Bike Rental
For kids who already know their way around a bike, our sleek city bicycles are the way to go. As long as they feel confident riding in a straight line and able to listen to instructions from their parents, they’re ready to take on the streets of Amsterdam. Our standard kid’s bike is for those between 130cm and 155cm, while our XS Kid’s bike, between 120cm and 135cm.
We suggest having them ride ahead of you, or sandwiched in between two parents riding single file, so you can keep a good eye on them and shout out directions as you go.
Kid's Bike Trailer Rental
For longer expeditions, we recommend this nifty kid’s trailer. It fits up to two little ones, up to a combined weight of 50kg. It’s perfect if you fancy bike touring around the Netherlands. Plus, the kid’s love rolling along looking at the view.