Utrecht, NL (lots of pictures)

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As promised, here are some photos I took in Utrecht two weeks ago. Thanks again to dwillen for generously loaning me a pair of lenses so I could take them.

A view right outside my hotel

Another view outside the hotel

A typical Dutch city bike. Most people have a city beater for transportation and another nice bike for cruising.

Another view outside the hotel. The building right on the other side of the fence is a pub. It is a blast to sit out on the terrace on a Friday night and watch drunk people crash.

A bike lane. The tracks leading into the train station are on the other side of the white fence, and the bike lane goes through a tunnel underneath. The video that netviln posted is looking in the same direction, but on the other side of the tunnel.

On a train platform. You’re not really supposed to ride *on* the platform, but it’s common to see when it’s not busy. This was taken on a Sunday around 11am…not much is going on in Utrecht at that time.

Nearly every stairway in the Netherlands has one of these. It’s a ramp for wheeling bicycles up and down. This shot was taken in the train station.

Empty city streets. When it’s busy, this street will be full of people and bicycles. No cars, though…they’re not allowed.

Even in the Netherlands there seems to be a shortage of racks where people want to park

Another city street devoid of cars. Access is controlled by retractable bollards. Even when it’s open, though, not many cars pass through here. It’s much easier and more convenient to get around by bicycle or on foot.

Another opportunity to install a bike rack.

A retractable bollard.

This road is currently closed off.

A general view of the city of Utrecht. I’ve got a ton more of these if anyone’s interested in seeing them.

A typical Dutch lock. Pittsburgh U-locks are unknown…everyone uses a heavy duty chain, plus a second lock that’s welded to the frame and disables the rear wheel. This bike won’t last long locked up by only the front wheel.

A bridge over the canal in the center of town. The cast iron fence will be completely full of bikes later in the day.

“Do Not Enter” (except bikes and scooters). One way only applies to cars.

Another bike lane. They run next to every major road in the country, as far as I can tell. Note the guy using the ATM from his bicycle.

A city street at the edge of downtown, full of tiny cars neatly parked into tiny spaces. SUVs are extremely uncommon until you get outside of the major cities.

An abandoned bike. They’re all over the place, locked up to something solid, and slowly wasting away. I’ve wondered what the police would do if they caught me cutting one free…

It’s been sitting for a while, I think.

No one wears helmets, not even the kids. The only helmets you’ll see are on the spandex-sporting racers, and they stick to the main roads (traffic moves far too slow on the city streets).

Italian Ice isn’t just a Pittsburgh thing. :)

Another abandoned bike hanging from the fence. The open window is actually the “rookruimte” of one of the Utrecht coffee shops. There are a few in the city that I’ve seen, but generally they’re unobtrusive and just another storefront (albeit with a certain smell wafting out)…completely in contrast to Amsterdam.

Looking up the main street next to the “Oudegracht” (Old Canal) in the center of the city.

More bikes locked up the fence along the canal. It was a bit later in the afternoon, so the good parking spots were starting to fill up.

Parking spaces can be at a premium in residential neighborhoods near the center of town. The sign says, “No bike parking here”.

Bikes are literally everywhere. I’m not sure I’ve taken a picture without a bicycle in it, unless I was aiming at the sky.

More bikes.

A park near the center of town. When the weather is nice, it fills up with people. They bring picnic baskets, bottles of wine or beer, and just relax and socialize. I wish we had that tradition here.

Outside one of the entrances to the Utrecht train station.

A better view, from inside the train station.

Looking across the highway from the station.

Efficient bicycle parking.

Another view.

A Heinz bicycle. This was the first one I saw…and once I did, I noticed them everywhere. My co-workers said they’re pretty common. Other companies have their logos on bikes, too.

Indoor bike parking next to the train station.

I think this one speaks for itself.

The same intersection as the video that netviln posted, but looking in the opposite direction.

Bicycle parking next to the intersection.

Secure outdoor parking, “gratis” (free). It gets locked at midnight (I think), and opens at 6am.

I’m leaving for another week on Sunday. If I can find a beater for under 50 EUR (the odds are pretty good…I bought one last summer that I used on a couple of trips and then sold it when I thought I wouldn’t be going back), I’m going to do the 18 km trip from the hotel to the office a couple of times. I’ll take a post some pictures of the ride if I do.



Thats absolutely amazing.


fantastic photos. thank you for sharing.


Amazing. And abandoned bikes too, that shouldn’t surprise me (people are people after all) but it does. Great shots. Thanks for posting!


How do you even find your bike after you park? Great pics, thanks for putting them up!


@marko: see jeff’s post above.


What I love the most are the tight city streets closed off to car traffic. Imagine if they left them open to cars, it would be awful.


They don’t really have a choice unless they tear down all the buildings and rebuild. Which is what Pittsburgh did…


Seriously, look what they are doing to the South Side Works end of Carson St.


thanks for sharing. amazing to see such tight streets. They’ve done the practical thing and kept the cars off the narrow streets instead of allowing cars on the streets and then saying there isn’t room for bikes.

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