Cyclists are excellently catered for in the Maastricht Region. There are dedicated cycle paths, lanes, bridges, tunnels, secure parking areas
and sharing schemes to suit every cyclists’ need. Drivers are taught to be very aware of cyclists (especially children) when learning to drive, and they are usually patient and understanding.
Cyclists are not obliged to wear a helmet while cycling, it is however advisable for less-experienced cyclists to wear one when becoming acclimatised to the traffic conditions.
Renting a bicycle
There are a number of ways to rent a bicycle in the Maastricht Region:
- OV-fiets is a scheme provided by NS. It is intended for use for the last leg of a rail journey. Rail passengers can use an OV-fietsabonnement can rent an OV-fiets (public transport bicycle) to cycle to their onward destination and back again. There are almost 300 rental locations in the Netherlands: at most stations, at bus or metro stops, and at P+R facilities.
- There are a number of bicycle retailers who also provide bicycles for hire, and some tour operators offer day trips and city tours while using their bicycle.
- Swapfiets is a business who for a monthly fee provides delivery, and use of their branded bicycles. They offer on the spot repairs or replacement of broken-down or damaged bicycles in their contract, however there are strict conditions regarding locking and proper parking of their bicycle.
Buying a bicycle
There are many bike shops in the Maastricht Region that sell new and used bicycles. In addition, there are a large range of second-hand bikes are offered for sale on marktplaats.nl, an online auction site similar to eBay. Be aware of buying second hand bicycles from sellers on social media.
Bicycles should always be parked in the allocated bicycle parking areas/racks, not along the pavement and not attached to lamp posts or fences. The Handhaving (council enforcement officers) regularly remove illegally parked and abandoned bicycles.
There are a number of secure bicycle parking areas provided by the municipalities in the Maastricht Region and these should be utilised. They are usually under cover, close to city centres or public transport and are often guarded.
There are NS bicycle parking areas available at many NS train stations. These are accessed using an OV-chipkaart and are free for the first 24 hours. The NS bicycle parking areas provide secure, dry parking as well as access to repairs and spare parts. Parking season tickets are also available from NS.
When parking a bicycle it is strongly advised to lock it using 2 locks;
- A rear frame lock
- A chain or u-lock
The following tips are also recommended when parking bicycles;
- Park in a busy and well-lit area
- Secure the bicycle with the second lock to the parking rack
- Ensure the second lock is not lying or close to the ground
- Secure the second lock through the frame of the bicycle
It is always advised to keep details of the bicycle (make, model, serial number) and in case of theft this can be reported to the police.
Donate your bicycle
If you no longer need your bicycle you may choose to donate it to the Fietsbank (Bike Bank). Volunteers at the Fietsbank will fix your bicycle and give it to someone who can’t afford to buy one or to have their broken bicycle repaired in the usual manner. And voilà, your bicycle has a new owner!
More information (in English) on bicycle parking and bicycle rules in Maastricht can be found at maastrichtbereikbaar.nl