Dutch Quirk #19: Bike while holding hands

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #19: Bike while holding hands

We’ve all experienced it. You’re innocently cycling along when all of a sudden, up ahead, a monstrous spectacle emerges. An obstacle.

GASP — it’s a display of public affection: two cyclists holding hands. Oftentimes, while taking up the entire width of the cycle path.

What is it?

The act of holding hands involves the lifting of your arm at somewhere between a 45 and 90-degree angle so as to allow for your five digits to lock onto the five digits of someone else (preferably a romantic partner and not a stranger). Simple.

Now, holding hands while cycling involves doing all of this whilst each participant is pedalling on a bike. The result is two obnoxiously in love people zooming along narrow streets — whilst now holding the potential to knock some poor cyclist right off their bike.

Why do they do it?

Because they’re in love! And when you’re in love, you can become a bit of a 🍆. Okay, no, the real reason is probably more basic than that: it’s just easy for Dutch people to do this.

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You’ve seen them cycle with their suitcases in tow or while balancing some item of furniture, or even rolling a second bike alongside themselves.

Cycling is as easy as walking for the Dutch, so if they can practically play the violin whilst on a bike, why not hold hands with their partner?

Why is it quirky? 

Because for anyone who’s not from the Netherlands — it’s downright absurd. For some internationals, even PDA is something they’re really not used to seeing that much. Combine this display with the fact that it’s done whilst cycling, and people are going to be like: 😮.

It’s always the best date option! Image: Depositphotos

Should you join in?

I mean, if you can, I guess? First step: you’re going to need someone who lets you hold their hand (we wouldn’t recommend performing this act with a stranger; it’s awkward.)

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The second most important step: you’re going to need some decent cycling skills, or else you’ll be transformed from an obnoxious, loved-up person to a cycling safety hazard.

Perhaps practice a bit first before you hit any public roads. 😉  

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2021, and was fully updated in September 2023 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.


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