Why using a smartphone while cycling shouldn’t be banned in the Netherlands

The Shallow Man believes that he’s made a good job of integrating into Dutch society by exhibiting the following behaviors:

  1. Shouting “ik ben aan de beurt”, at the bakery and the butchers, even if I’ve only just arrived and people are standing in front of me.
  2. Pushing my way onto trams and metros as soon as the doors open.
  3. Sitting on the outside seat on public transport and cursing beneath my breath if someone wants to sit on the empty seat next to me.
  4. Leaving my windows open in summer when having sex
  5. Walking around naked while leaving the curtains open

So yes, I’m pretty bloody well integrated. Another thing I’ve learned to love while living in Amsterdam is the sight of people using smartphones while cycling. Sadly, the interfering Dutch government plans to introduce a law to ban this, which is ridiculous. Which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

The Shallow Man will provide five reasons why using smartphones while cycling should definitely not be made illegal. Share this post with your local elected representative, so that hopefully they’ll block this badly thought out measure from becoming law.

The things I do for my readers!

1. Dutch cyclists are indestructible!

Dutch cyclists have balls of steel, and that’s only the female ones. Nothing scares a Dutch cyclist at all. The number of times the Shallow Man has watched in disbelief while thinking, “is she really wearing that in public?” Followed by a gasp of shock as the steel balled cyclist throws herself in front of an oncoming tram while texting. Leading the Shallow Man to shout out, “Anouk je ziet er toch niet zo slecht uit, doe het niet schatje!/Anouk you don’t look that bad, don’t do it sweetie!”

Only to see her cycle past the tram with seconds to spare. Wat spannend!

And you know what? Even if she had been hit by a tram, I’m sure she’d have just got up, readjusted the holes in her jeans so that they display her knees properly. Then dumped the bike, stolen another one and cycled off as if nothing happened. Dutch cyclists are indestructible.

People risk suicide by using smartphones while cycling in Amsterdam

2. The Dutch health system is the best in the world!

The reason the Government is proposing to make using smartphones while cycling illegal, is due to the fact that one in five accidents involving teenage cyclists have smartphones involved.

What’s the problem? Instead of banning the use of smartphones while cycling, simply make it mandatory for teenagers to carry paracetamol while using a bike. This way, if they have an accident they can take a couple of paracetamol and be right as rain again.

Ninety five percent of Dutch doctors believe that paracetamol cures all problems, so why not just force them to be prepared? You wouldn’t send a teenager to the Cooldown Cafe in Amsterdam without a condom, why should they cycle without protection?

cycling while using a smartphone in Amsterdam

“He doesn’t have long to live anyway en ik heb haast”


3. What about romance?

Dutch men are known throughout the world for being the most romantic in the world. How is Jeroen supposed to make a decision on whether he should visit Anouk or Noortje, both of whom he met on tinder while they were drunker than a British tourist in Amsterdam for a stag weekend, when he hasn’t checked on GPS which one lives closer to his apartment? You can’t expect romantic Dutch men to actually stop their bikes, look up directions and then carry on cycling. This might cause them to lose their hard-ons.

Dutchman using smartphone on a bike in Amsterdam while ignoring the lights

“Anouk, sorry I mean Noortje. I can’t wait to meet you”

4. The great escape

What about all those regretful souls, who after celebrating the King’s birthday, wake up in the apartment, houseboat or car of a complete stranger? How are they expected to be able to hop on their bikes and cycle away quickly from the scene of the sin, without being able to check on GPS where the hell they happen to be? You can’t expect them to say “Err thank you, what’s your name again? For an interesting night, how do I get home from here?”

A dog guarding a bike in Amsterdam

He’s had me guarding his bloody bike all night long

A woman cycling while using a smartphone in Amsterdam

“Ja, Ja schat. I’ll be home as soon as I work out which city I’m in”


5. Think about the children

What about all those poor kids that are transported around town in a bakfiets? That’s embarrassing enough, but at least their mothers are usually distracted texting and chatting with friends on where to have coffee once they’ve dropped the kids off.

If using smartphones while cycling are banned, the kids might actually be forced to have a conversation with their parents. Won’t somebody please think about the children?


using a smartphone while cycling with kids in a bakfiets

What time are we meeting for zumba classes?

Using a smartphone while cycling, like smoking and blacking up for the Sinterklaas season, are actually human rights that I hope the Government will protect and respect.

No tram drivers were hurt during the writing of this post.

Till next time did you know that Hitler was a great painter? He could do an entire apartment in a single afternoon.

Hou je snavel!