Rain and showers :
Despite its reputation, there aren't that many days with constant rain in Holland. But indeed, it looks often rainy, or threatening. And the weather is very changeable.
According to official statistics, it rains only 6.5% of the time.
More in winter than in summer. Although in summer, the quantities are much higher.
Check short term rain radar : www.buienradar.nl.
Ideal for Dutch climate, as it allows to see a couple of hours in advance where and when showers will occur. Take that into your trip planning, breaks and shelter opportunities.
Wind direction :
When planning a bicycle trip, check out wind direction, force and forecast.
Wind direction in Holland is generally fairly stable during the day. But force can vary greatly between morning and afternoon. Even a moderate wind will be very noticeable in this open country. Try to avoid adverse wind on the last stretch of your bike trip.
Always take a rain jacket with you. And/or at least a rain poncho. Even on a summer day that starts with full blue skies.
Take (adverse) wind into account. In the wide open countryside, the wind-chill factor will make temperature drop considerably.
Lock your bike :
All bikes in the Netherlands are standard equipped with a fixed lock on the back wheel. Not too strong a lock, and somebody can still pick up your bike, but it gives some protection against the occasional thief. And it's always on the bike.
By closing this lock, the key comes out. Make closing it into a habit. Even when you leave your bike for a short break only. Also on the countryside, not for theft in the first place. But some joker can lock your bike, and take the key. Then, you do have a problem.
Certainly in the cities, you'll need a second lock. Cable or chain. In order to fix your bike to a lantern post or something.
When you rent a bike, also take the insurance, if that's not included. In case your bike gets stolen, you will have to show the key(s) to prove you locked it.
Parking your bike :
In the major cities, you'll quickly find that parking your bike is not always that easy. Despite the growing number of large bike parks.
Since you see piles of bikes parked also where it's not supposed to, you will be tempted to follow local practices.
But you can have the bad luck of a police and city cleaners round-up. They will kindly leave signs where you can pick up your bike, after you paid a fine. For Amsterdam, that's a remote place somewhere in the port area.
So try to park on authorized locations.
More practical cycling information in resources, cycling links.
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