The ultimate guide for cycling in Groningen

The ultimate guide for cycling in Groningen

19 October 2017 by Andriana
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No matter whether you have been in Groningen for two whole years or if you have just set foot in this beautiful city of talent, there is one thing that has to be stuck in your mind. It is called: “The ultimate guide for cycling in Groningen”.

Hailed as the World’s Cycling City, Groningen is a place where 60% of the trips are made by bike. As you can imagine, cycling accidents are very common. So are fines from the bicycle police (oh yes, they do have such a thing here in the Netherlands).

In order for you to be safe – both from accidents and fines, read this Guide and learn it by heart. It will save you a lot of trouble!

  1. Your bike needs to have lights and reflectors – once you are on your bike and it’s dark or the visibility is poor (heavy rain, fog), you need to have your lights on. One front light – white or yellow, and one back light – red. Having these will not only save you from a fine but will prevent you from being hit by a car, or even worse – a bus. And you definitely don’t want that!
  2. Do indicate when you want to turn left or right, especially LEFT – you have to give a hand signal before you turn left or right in order to prevent cyclists crashing into you. The hand signal is super simple and it takes 2 seconds to make, and God, it can save so much trouble! Just extend your right arm (for turning right) and left arm (for turning left) horizontally. Remember to always look over your shoulder before turning left because there might be traffic behind you.
  3. You have to always cycle on the right side of the bike lane and never on the pavement or on big roads only for cars – ignore all Duchies who cycle on the pavement or across pedestrian areas. This is totally against the Dutch cycling rules! It will save you a fine and some frowns by the nearby pedestrians.
  4. Stop at a red traffic light – as a cyclist, you are a part of the traffic, thus, you have to stop when the traffic light is red. However, if you see this sign (see photo below), you can turn right even when the traffic light is red. BUT beware of pedestrians that might be crossing the road because the traffic light is green for them.

Some last words of caution!

It’s advisable to have a bicycle bell.
You don’t need to wear a helmet.
You are allowed to get other people on the front or back of your bike.
You are allowed to listen to music while cycling but it is not advisable.
You don’t have the privilege (which means you have to wait for the others to pass) when you have shark’s teeth pointing at you (see photo below).
You always have the privilege if you come from the right unless the shark’s teeth point at you.

In my next blog post I will tell you everything about the road signs for cyclists. For now good luck and don’t forget to enjoy your cycling experience in Groningen!

Andriana Boyrikova

This is how I enjoy my cycling experience in Groningen