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. 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 🍆. Ok, no, the real reason is probably more basic than that: it’s easy for Dutch people to do this.

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You’ve seen them cycle with their suitcases in tow, whilst balancing some item of furniture, or even whilst 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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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 November 2022 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


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