Scooter rental - Amsterdam

Discussion in 'Europe' started by MrBob, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    Traveling to Amsterdam for the first two weeks of November. Plan is mostly museum touring but also have plenty of free time. If the weather isn't too crappy I'd like to rent a scooter and get out into the countryside. Also planning to rent bicycles regularly.
    Thanks for any info.
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  2. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I have a honda POS125cc scooter for parts collecting, it is surprisingly good at getting around locally, say 50 mile trips - which I did daily while looking after my mum. And pretty awful at distance work - but Holland is small and the parts you are likely to visit on a short stay are all fairly close to A'dam.

    I found that many of the small towns and the countryside to be charming and beautiful, well worth the effort.
    Several other inmates dogpiled me for saying that, but either they have no culture, no sense of history, no imagination or no experience.
    If you have a choice, try to pick a place with a market on that day. A market always enhances and enriches the experience.

    There seems to be plenty of rental sites. I have no personal experience renting. You'll no doubt come across sites like this one https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/plan-your-trip/getting-around/rental/scooter-hire which seems to cover a few.
    You'll need to wear a helmet. The minimum age for a 50cc moped used to be 14.
    I certainly wouldn't waste time searching or pay a premium for a large cc or well known brand (depending how well you know the strange world of scootering).

    In the city itself, bikes are much easier. It seems like you are more or less immune to most traffic laws - or that's how it seems to a foreign pedestrian.

    Have fun.
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  3. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    Thanks for the link. No trip can be complete without some time on two wheels and I hope to add some scooter tripping.
    After 40+ years of motorcycle touring packing a single, light backpack for two weeks of travel is a new experience.
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  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Being English, I am used to never being too far from hearth and home, so venture off without a care or a thought.
    I expect many other inhabitants of small countries feel the same.

    My home town is more or less in the geographic centre. The furthest coast due east was 150 miles. West, and into Wales, you hit sea at about the same distance, nicer ride through Snowdonia though.
    As stupid kids we would set off when the pubs shut at 10,30pm on a Friday, and ride to one or the other, sleep on the beach, have some fish and chips and ride home.
    Bearing in mind our bikes were generally slow and unreliable, and often rather thirsty because of the ill advised "tuning".

    Hope you have a great time.
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  5. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    Here in the American West the scale is 500 miles is beginning to get to be a noticeable distance for me. I drove 850 miles to pick up an ST 1300 and that seemed reasonable. 1200 miles is beginning to be some distance and 3,000 miles is far away.
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  6. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I've told the story before. Leave if you have read it before.
    Getting home from work one Friday evening, I popped down to the bank on the corner. A couple, late 20's maybe - clearly American - were having a spat. To the extent I sort of interupted, which worked as a distraction tactic. Much to the relief of all us Brits and others (a very cosmopolitan area). We got talking, and as they were clearly rather stressed, I invited them up to my house, a few yards up the street.
    Turned out, they had planned a great adventure - to visit Europe. Hell, it's only tiny.
    They showed me a postcard of where they lived, Middleofnowhere, Montana. Maybe one of the Dakotas. I thought it was one of those opencast strip mining places, but no. The point being it was remote - nearest store 100 miles. Nearest town a 400 mile round trip. Not wanting to denigrate your wonderful country, but it looked awful. Yet they had postcards...
    Anyway, the story was they had booked their trip on the basis that 400 miles is a mere bagatelle. However, London, or at least its major airport, is approx 400 miles from Edinburgh or Edinboro as they pronounced it. Unfortunately two sets of geographical locations the same distance apart may not necessarily take the same time to get from one to the other.
    They found flying red eye to Heathrow stressful. They discovered it is not a provincial little airstrip and the terminals are quite spread out and filled will lots and lots of people going to similar places and trying to do similar things. Hertz and Avis may be in the terminal you are at, but their cars are in lots miles away. Everyone, all in a hurry, and getting increasingly stressed and fraught.
    Then there was the M25 London Orbital Motorway. And the busiest and most congested part - especially on a Friday. Lots of sitting and waiting. Then the joys of the MI or Northern Conveyor as we local call it, because that is about the speed it travels. Oh, and learning to drive on the correct side of the road. In a car with a manual transmission.
    Just as the traffic is starting to thin, then the fuel light flashes. Then they find their Amex doesn't work (rarely do), hence the detour to Leicester. The city is only a 4 mile nose to tail crawl to the first bank, which they miss, but find the next, and me.
    After tea, I explained that their destination was still quite a few hours away, and remaining 300 English miles are longer than US ones, seemingly.
    They had been a bit wowed by my house having a glazed outside space with a grape vine in it. But perhaps they really thought it was a hovel, at 100+yrs old, but I thought it looked better than the garden shed style place they showed me pics of.
    I offered that they could crash down for an early start. But they demurred - perhaps they thought I was an axe murderer.
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  7. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    The NW corner of Montana has the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi and it's incredibly beautiful there. I've vacationed there the last two summers.
    Glacier park in Montana almost overwhelms with striking beauty around every corner. Montana is vast and quite varied. What photos can't really show is the immensity of the sky in that part of the world.
    Sounds like those kids were pretty naive and had a lot to learn. Even with over 50 years of travel experience, I've begun my research now for my trip to Amsterdam in two months, and that's hardly a wilderness adventure.
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  8. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    There are plenty who come on here with a zero post count with the same attitude and level of understanding. We all start somewhere. My first m/c trip into Europe was to the Guzzi factory with a partner who refused to camp (until we tried the alternative on our budget). Until the day before departure, I had the wrong town. How did we survive without the internet?

    While I mostly avoid big cities - I save them for dedicated trips - the more open spaces - are... how can I put this...? more open. Plains and prairies, while majestic, aren't my thing.
    The Loire valley for example has many beautiful chateaux, but the extensive landscape is mostly flat and covered in wheat or corn.

    Many European cities were around before the Roman Empire. In the 1500+ years since, quite a bit has happened. There is a lot to take in, and a lot you will miss.
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  9. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    Indeed?
    Perhaps some locations around the Mediterranean, but rarely North of the Alps.
    One of the old German cities, Trier, was elevated to an imperial city as Augusta Treverorum. Finds from the Stone Age prove, that people settled here since the 3rd millennium BC.
    But not in something we would call a "city" (like Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, ...)
    London, Paris, Brussels... all from and after the Roman Empire. Stockholm and Moscow are not even 1000 years old.
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  10. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    My early training at University was in Anthropology and Archaeology so I see cultures as the context from which people view the world around them. If I understand something of the culture from which you've originated I can understand something of your worldview, which may be different from mine but as real and valid to you as mine is to me.
    Travel to Europe is to be among the cultures that helped shape my country and I'm looking forward to those encounters.
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  11. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Well Alice, cities as we know them today did not exist at all until the Industrial Revolution. Depends how you choose to define cities.
    However there were many habitations which were called cities by the Romans in Britain (as it was then known).
    My home town of Leicester, previously Ratae Corieltauvorum, which pre-existed the Romans, had a forum, a public bathhouse and the full range of civic buildings.

    There are, also in UK, the evidence of extensive Stone and Iron Age settlements - again not cities, no neon lights, discos or MacDonalds but extensive and cohesive enough to be capable of creating large scale structures such as Avebury, Sillbury Hill and Stonehenge and the earlier Skara Brae.
    I guess if you want to be picky and split hairs then no, cities in Europe were mostly a shadow of the Middle and Far Eastern examples. They mostly had to wait until the Middle Ages to get going.

    Funny you should mention Trier, I was there a couple of weeks ago. Stumbled on a deli/coffee house - looked newly opened, no one knew how to do anything, but were friendly - the coffee was decent, as was my morning croissant.
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  12. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    According to wiki, Leicester was founded around 50 AD - by the Romans.
    Despite famous discoveries like homo neanderthalensis and homo heidelbergensis, the cities of Düsseldorf (Neandertal beeing a city district) and Heidelberg do not claim prehistoric origin.
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  13. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    If you read your Histories, then you will find that Leicester was an existing settlement before the Romans arrived. The Romans did not create it - like many other places, they seized it at the point of the sword and turned it into their own.

    As you like research, look up Ratae Corieltasuvorum. The site of present day Leicester thought to be pre-existing the Roman invasion by at least 150 years.
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  14. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    I see the Brits and the Germans continue the petty quibbling.
    Hijack some other thread why don't you.
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  15. roog909

    roog909 n00b

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    For Amsterdam itself, I would forsake the idea of renting a scooter, the distances are ridiculously small and a bicycle will be just as fast. ( also the weather may play up )

    Also there are quite some regulations which are ingnored regarding 25 kph and 45 kph scooters, unless it comes to rental scooters. The first not requiring a helmet, the latter does, but you will have to ride on the regular road, not the bicycle paths, so that means you will be crushed by locals in their cars doing at least 60 through the city center. 25 kph will end up annoying several vicious locals on their push bikes trying to get past and not getting anywhere in a hurry outside of Amsterdam. You will be much more relaxed on your push bike enjoying the city.


    For a motorcycle, try to rent one from a local on motoshare.nl ;

    https://motoshare.nl/motor-huren/honda/368?startDate=11-09-2017&finishDate=13-09-2017

    Cheaper then a scooter and it opens up a lot more of Holland, although nice roads and vistas are rarer then hens teeth over here.
    ( try the pompheulweg, just google map your way over there without using the motorways )
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  16. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    My reading tells me that the weather may have a large effect on outdoor activities, including cycling. What you call a push bike we call a pedal bike. I own an Electra and love riding through the countryside around Boulder, Colorado.
    Thanks for the link.
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  17. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    In case you have not already twigged, most of Netherlands is suited to cycling - both geographically and socially. It is flat and there are a multitude of proper cycle paths.
    And there are many old towns, as was discussed earlier, not too far from A'dam within comparatively easy reach.

    In Germany, people take cycles on the trains, I don't know about NL, but suspect it's OK there too. Last time I had to use a train in NL I was taken by how cheap it seemed.
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  18. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    [​IMG]
    This is my current bike. The relaxed geometry of the Electra returned the fun to cycling, but running two businesses and saving for a trip to Europe doesn't leave much time for riding.
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  19. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    As you seem to be into exotic modes of transport http://www.channel4.com/programmes/great-canal-journeys/episode-guide/ I hope this is pointing to the Netherlands edition. Hopefully you will be able to get this.

    A somewhat quirky programme with Timothy West and Prunella Scales, two 80+ thesps who are great canal fans.
    This episode is a traverse of southern Holland, west to east, via canal. Very interesting, and covers lots of the places near to and around Amsterdam - if not in great detail.
    Prunella (Mrs Faulty amongst others) Scales has a form of early dementia, so is slightly off, but at her age is doing well.
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  20. Barcelona rider

    Barcelona rider Travel the world

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