I have been with London Bicycle for a year now and cycled around the city centre of London about 200 times. As a Dutchie, working on a bike in the city I live and love, seems one of the most logical things to do, as for my Dutch colleagues too. Together with our French, German, English, Spanish and Italian colleagues we thrive to give tourists the best experience possible on a bike touring through London. With 4 different routes leaving daily and a whopping 7 Dutch tour guides, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that people from the Netherlands are most to be seen on our blue bicycles riding through the metropolis of London.
Rob Graham, owner of LBTC, always says Dutch people were born with a bike in their mouth, which is probably true. Dutch people even tend to give their bikes a pet name: They ride their ‘stalen ros’ (EN: horse from steel). So where does this extensive talent and eagerness for cycling come from? Why do Dutch people always tend to jump on a bike and not walk or take a cab? With regards to professional sports, we are not as far as good on bikes as we are on ice skates, however, we all still do remember Marianne Vos winning the road race on The Mall in the centre of London during the Olympic Games in 2012. A popular place for us tour guides to cycle too, because it brings us to the impressive Buckingham Palace. A route, which is, especially during the changing of the guard, a special place to be: Imagining being the Queen for a few seconds with all those people staring at you, them not always being as familiar with bikes as us Dutchies.
Dutch people cycle 15 billion kilometres together per year, which is not strange, if you realise there is a total of 35.000km of cycle paths in The Netherlands and in 2017 an amazing amount of 957.000 bikes were sold in the country. Needless to say, the favourite way of being guided through the city for Dutch people, even when it’s a busy city like London, is on a bike. Loads of cars, tourists, a few reckless rickshaw drivers or impatient black cab drivers, they are all being conquered by the Dutch people on their bikes.
Whether you fancy a high light tour (Classic) during your first visit in this amazing city, or the more alternative Love London (West End), Old Town Tour (The City and East London) or the Night Tour where you can enjoy London by night, us guides are more than happy to show you the city we love.
By Tour Guide Contributor Tanja Goossens