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We are two French in love with the Dutch people and culture. Each time we have the time we rush there. Rather than hitchhiking (as we used to), we plan to travel across the Netherlands by bike as it will be much easier to meet people. We plan to buy 2 cheap bikes somewhere there since renting them looks more expensive, and also it'll be less stressful and more relax (no fear to damage them, no renting delay, more freedom to go wherever and whenever we want to go... ).

As usual, we will hitchhike from France because we don't want to waste 15 days out of 25 just to go to the Netherlands or to come back (we live in French Brittany, Vannes)

As we can't take the bikes back we us (we will also come back by hitchhiking), we will leave them in the Netherlands. We are thinking of lock them somewhere, maybe in a small city for a year (or 6 months, we don't know yet) before the next trip...

So the question is the question is: where can we lock a bike for such a period of time?

We don't want to put them in a place where they could bother people (such as in front of train station). We heard about the 100€ options to secure them for a year but since our bike won't cost more than 50€ (hopefully even less!), we are looking for free and safe options/advices. Would it be a good idea to park them somewhere in the North in a small city ? Less risk of theft ? But what about the police, would they allow it?

Any advice concerning these bike parking issue would be warmly appreciated !

Thanks !

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    Why not just sell the bikes and buy another one the next year?
    – Batman
    Aug 30, 2014 at 16:14
  • @Batman, I've already thought about that, but I would like to find a way to keep the same bike.
    – MagTun
    Aug 30, 2014 at 16:19
  • Is taking the train rather than hitch hiking a valid option? Then you can buy in either country and still bring it back home. While hitch hiking does sound fun, not being dependent on other people to look after a bike is pretty liberating.
    – BPugh
    Sep 1, 2014 at 7:04
  • @BPugh No train isn't an option, too expensive over here. I use hitch-hiking because it's.. well.. cheaper but mostly because I travel to meet people and hitch-hiking is a wonderful way to meet people.
    – MagTun
    Sep 2, 2014 at 9:14
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    To the question, "How do you keep your bike from being stolen in Amsterdam?" one tongue-in-cheek answer was, "Park it next to a better one." P.S. Trains are also a good place to meet people.
    – WGroleau
    Dec 30, 2015 at 1:39

2 Answers 2

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Probably your best bet if you want to park them is to meet someone with a large shed who'll put the bikes up for you.

If you make the finance/convenience tradeoff I think selling the bikes after your stay and getting new ones when you return might be a better option, but I understand the convenience of having the same bike.

I can think of several options that don't require you to find such a nice person but they all have their drawbacks:

  • Park them somewhere on the street. This would work for an EUR 50 bike, just fix them to something with a good lock somewhere out of the way. However, the dutch climate won't be nice to your bike.
  • Park them in any public bike parking area near a big train station. Most of them have a roof these days, and they are free. However, the municipality cleans up bike parking areas at stations every 21 days. So chances are your bike will be removed under this rule. If this happens you have a few months to pick it up from the depot before they sell it off.
  • Park them in a "private" bike parking area near a big office building. This might be a reasonable option if you are willing to do a bit of sneaking to get in. Most of these bike parking areas have room to spare, so two exta bikes won't bother anyone, and if you park far away from the office entrance no-one will notice the bikes standing there all the time. Downside is that these buildings are usually not in very central locations. You could even ask the concierge if he'll let you park the bikes for a few months (with the risk of him turning you down where he wouldn't have noticed the bikes if you hadn't asked).

In all cases the property owner or the local city government is within its rights to just remove your bike if it is deemed to be in the way or a wreck, which is always a risk for a EUR 50,- bike.

Seven years on, I don't know if this question is still relevant to someone, but things have changed. These days (moreso than 7 years ago) a EUR 50,- bike will have been stolen if you can even find one. Usable used bikes are a hot commodity. Expect to pay at least EUR 100 and up for the most basic bike. The flipside is that there are now a few really good flexible rental/lease options. Swapfiets is one, ov-fiets is another.

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    some carpool and park-and-ride areas will have semi-sheltered (unmonitored) bike stands, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:44
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    @ratchetfreak Some of these bike stand are checked every once in a while, and abandonded bikes will be removed. Your bike will not be guaranteed safe there when you leave it there.
    – Bernhard
    Aug 30, 2014 at 21:29
  • Thanks Jilles for your answer. I asked the question because I thought Netherlands would have had more option than the one available in pretty much every countries, maybe not yet.
    – MagTun
    Sep 2, 2014 at 9:18
  • Apart from a very bike friendly country we are also one of the most densely populated ones. We don't really have the space for free (or very cheap) long-term bike storage Or more accurately: nobody is rich enough to offer it. Sep 2, 2014 at 22:52
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    @jillesdewit, look on marktplaats.nl and you will find plenty of bikes in the €50 range. And I know from experience (seller and relative of a few sellers) that those do not have to be stolen.
    – Willeke
    Sep 14, 2021 at 16:48
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Join http://WarmShowers.org  I have seen many members offering a place to store a bike.  WarmShowers is also a good place for your other hobby, meeting people. Also http://BeWelcome.org

Or, buy them at a bike shop that will take care of them for you afterward.

Or, go home on the train and take them with you. http://www.google.com/search?q=bikes+on+trains+in+france

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  • Good idea for warmshowers, I will give it a try!
    – MagTun
    Sep 2, 2014 at 9:18
  • Going by train is really a very good suggestion. Within the Netherlands you can take your bike anywhere in the country by train for something like EUR 9,- per bike. I've taken my touring bike on a train in France and I can't remember it being expensive. Sep 2, 2014 at 22:54
  • I'm planning to go to AMS in October, so I've been checking. It looks like the bike fee is now six euro. You have to look for the cars with a bike icon on the outside, though.
    – WGroleau
    Sep 9, 2014 at 15:43

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