Cycling in the rain of the Netherlands

The Dutch say: ‘You are not made of sugar, you won’t melt in the rain!’. When you cycle for utility reasons the weather is of lesser importance. If you go to work by bike, you go there when the sun shines but of course also when it rains.

Weather conditions do not really change the number of cyclists in the Netherlands. The Dutch simply put on a rain coat, a “rain suit”, or they get out their umbrellas. Riding a bike while holding up an umbrella is perfectly normal in the Netherlands. And a lot of people feel they will simply dry up quickly enough again.

These pictures were taken on a cold and rainy April morning in Utrecht. The intersection is undergoing major reconstructions and building is taking place all around it. That is why it is not up to modern Dutch standards with its bad temporary road surface and ugly temporary concrete divisions. Ugly but safe enough. What makes the intersection really safe are the separate cycle traffic lights with separate green phases for cyclists.

Utrecht is the 4th largest city in the Netherlands with a population 300,000 and 33% of all trips in the city are made on a bicycle.

cycling in the rain

2 thoughts on “Cycling in the rain of the Netherlands

  1. I have to disagree, I do this. If there isn’t much wind then it helps plenty. And whether it’s dangerous depends on the cyclist, I reckon I’m more skilled with an umbrella than some without one. It’s like cycling with headphones on, or in my case earbuds. I do that too, listen to music or a podcast while riding a bike. I just pay extra attention and am extra careful when doing so.

  2. “Riding a bike while holding up an umbrella is perfectly normal in the Netherlands”
    I will never understand people who do this. It is perfectly useless (you’ll get wet anyway) and rather dangerous for yourself and other people on the road (impaired vision, and less control of your bike). Also, my feeling is that it is a fairly recent trend to do this.

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