When WS was in Munich after college many many many years ago, he and his brother took a bike tour with Mike’s Bikes. At the time, the company was relatively new to the tour scene. They had a fantastic time, ending their day at a beer garden. What could be better?
While researching our trip to Amsterdam, we knew for sure that we wanted to rent bikes. WS was also pretty set on taking a bike tour at some point. Both of these wishes lead us to one place, Mike’s Bikes.
We walked to their store on Kerkstraat in Amsterdam. The staff was really friendly, and talked to us about all of our options for renting. We wanted to rent for 3 full days, as well as sign up for a tour. If you rented a bike from them, you could sign up for a tour for 50% off. One day was 15 euro with insurance, and extra days were 9 euro with insurance (spring for the insurance!)
The bikes they rent are Townies. The bikes have no signage on them labeling you as a tourist, so the idea of blending in was quite nice, too. The bikes we had were in great condition, and were a comfortable ride. They provided us with 2 heavy duty locks, a map, and we were ready to ride our way around Amsterdam.
We decided to do the countryside tour, which is 22 euro without the discount. The tour arrangements were very casual-simply show up 5 minutes before the tour and you are on it. Come back for the tour anytime during the three days you are renting. I thought this feature was fantastic. We were able to check the weather reports and go on the day that looked like the nicest weather for riding.
We arrived the next day right before the start of the tour. About 10 other people showed up in our group. If the group is large, they have another guide go along, but we were a small enough group for one guide.
Our guide first gave us an overview of the country, then the city, then the route we would take. The ride first lead us along the Amstel River, then out of the city. We headed to a windmill first, stopping to take photos and hear an explanation of how they are used.
We then rode to a farm, where they made cheese and wooden shoes (what a combination). The farmer was very entertaining and gave a demonstration and explanation of those famous wooden Dutch shoes.
Lunch was on our own at the farm. We sat outside on picnic tables, chatting with our guide and our new riding buddies.
On the way back to town, our guide took us thru the forest and finally into Vondelpark. The entire trip was at a very relaxed, leisurely pace. The route was not strenuous, and I do believe even a novice bike rider could enjoy the journey to the countryside.
The price was fair, the guide was fantastic and funny. Overall, I have to say we really enjoyed our time touring with Mike’s Bikes and renting from Mike’s Bikes. I would definitely recommend them if you are ever in Amsterdam. The bike is the ONLY way to really navigate the city like a local. Have fun!