Lastly I've discovered that there is an action in Amsterdam to give a ride on single man bicycle to another person (strangers, actually): Yellow Backie: Amsterdam Style Hitchhiking. But I started to wonder: is it allowed to do that in Amsterdam?

Note: I'm asking how people in Amsterdam look at it, not about its legality.

  • It is allowed, but be prepared if the bike moves on a road like this one Feb 18, 2016 at 17:01
  • Most road in Amsterdam that have stone or even brick toppings also have a bike lane that is much flatter on top.
    – Willeke
    Feb 18, 2016 at 17:06
  • I have voted to leave this question open as it is about a kind of local transport that is aimed at tourists (in the movie) and is typical for just one country.
    – Willeke
    Feb 18, 2016 at 17:33
  • 2
    "That makes the question opinion based and closable." I don't think this is opinion based as there are some unwritten rules which every member of community can articulate, and this seems to be one of them. Feb 18, 2016 at 21:15
  • 2
    I don't think there's anything that you can do on a bicycle in Amsterdam that most people would look negatively upon. But almost anything you do can be looked upon negatively by the occasional bystander. Ignore that bystander and you'll be fine. Feb 24, 2016 at 6:47

2 Answers 2


Most people in the Netherlands think it is common to see two people on a single bike, and when kids are involved even three or more.

The back rack has to be the sturdy kind but many or even most bikes in the city have that kind of strong rack.

Dutch law used to have rules for how big the passenger may be in comparison to the rider, but that is seen as for kids only, so it is the bigger (and likely older) kid doing the cycling and the smaller one being passenger.
Adults are seen as able to judge whether the weight distribution is getting dagerous and should know when not to offer/take a ride on the rack. Current rules seem to require a formal seat and rests for the feet, but I have not found official rules yet.
Even a search on internet does not give clear information, this blog post from A View from the Cycle Path has a few lines that seem to proof it is allowed in the Netherlands, more in the negative that it is not allowed on other countries.
This cycle information in the Nethelands page shows that kids under the age of 8 can only be transported when in a safe seat.

  • Fietsers mogen alleen kinderen onder de 8 jaar vervoeren als zij op veilige zitplaats zitten.

I met two girls both traveling Europe, one from the USA and the other from Canada, the USA girl had been in Amsterdam and told her new friend, who was on her way to Amsterdam, that she had to accept a ride on the back of a bike, once. (And not more often as it is not the most comfortable transport.)
I have had my one time as kid.

As a foot note, it is so common to see people carried on the back of a bike in Amsterdam that visitors, either short term or long term, will often show it in their photo series, like in this blog entry in Amsterdamize
This is a two minute video which explains (and tries to teach) how to hop on the back of a bike.

  • thanks for the awsome blog link, I've found there a link to a movie which explains everything: youtube.com/watch?v=hhmNY5SCnqs - it's being performed such gracefully :) that is must be allowed and ofter excercised. Feb 18, 2016 at 21:25
  • This is the Netherlands, do not assume that something is legal when it is not acted against by the police. But as far as I can find, it is not on the illegal list.
    – Willeke
    Feb 18, 2016 at 22:06
  • I don't assume it legal I just travel.stackexchange.com/questions/64005/…. Feb 19, 2016 at 10:47
  • The most applicable law is probably article five of the traffic rules states that you're not allowed to endanger anyone or cause traffic to stop. Carrying a single person will not do that in most cases, but it might in some exceptional cases (e.g. poor cycling skills, sitting on the handlebars, etc.). Mar 28, 2016 at 20:19

It depends on the bike. When the bike is designed to transport multiple persons safely, it can carry multiple persons. The most common examples are children's seats on adult's bikes.

  • 5
    In Amsterdam, or even all of the Netherlands, a bike is seen as able to move two adults until it breaks under the weight. That is including bikes that would not even move one adult in the USA.
    – Willeke
    Feb 18, 2016 at 18:32
  • @Willeke, is that a law being customary broken, or is it the law?
    – o.m.
    Feb 18, 2016 at 18:38
  • o.m. see my answer, not easy to find, if it is law it is always broken, it may be allowed by law still though.
    – Willeke
    Feb 18, 2016 at 19:26

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