Flat tyre, chain come off, faulty breaks? Breakdowns do happen, but rarely in front of a bicycle repair shop. So bring your own bicycle repair kit and make sure you can do minor repairs yourself. It will save you a lot of hassle. Other cyclists are usually willing to help you if they can. If you need professional assistance, you’ll find a bicycle repair shop in most places.
Bicycle repairs - where to go?
Bicycle shops and rental places
Most bicycle shops and rental places in Holland do bicycle repairs (not the large chain stores). If you’re lucky, small repairs can be done while you wait. Otherwise you can collect your bicycle later on. It’s always a good idea to ask how much the repair is likely to cost. Bicycle shops are usually closed on Sunday and (except in larger towns) on Monday. Bicycle rental places may be open all days of the week, especially in the summer. If possible, check their website beforehand.
Where to find them
There is a good chance you’ll find a bicycle shop or rental place at or near a train station. Almost every Dutch village has a bicycle shop where you can go for repairs. Ask the locals for the nearest address. Don’t worry about the language as most Dutch people understand English.
Some cycle maps and guide books tell you where a bicycle shop or rental place may be found. If not, try the online cycle route planner. Click on the locations tab and select the boxes 'Bovag Cycle service' and the ‘Bovag Cycle rental’ in the locations screen. All the bicycle repair workshops and rental places that are a member of the Bovag trade organisation will appear on the map. Please note that this is only a selection of all the bike repair and rental places in Holland.
Bicycle repair kits on your route
Some cafes, restaurants, hotels and campsites have a basic repair kit you can use. You will have to do the repairs yourself. There are two systems to look out for that partly overlap:
ANWB Service Points
If you see a yellow ANWB ‘Rijwiel Hulpkist’ (Bike Aid Box) strategically placed outside a cafe, restaurant or visitor centre, you’ve found one of the ANWB Service Points. For a list of addresses, go to the ANWB website (in Dutch) and scroll down to the interactive map.
Every cafe, restaurant, hotel and campsite with the Cyclists Welcome! label has a bike repair kit you can use if you need to mend your tyre. You can find the addresses on the online cycle route planner. You will have to click on the locations tab and select the ‘Cyclists welcome!' boxes.