It has probably not escaped your notice that fat bikes are extremely popular, and we see them more and more throughout the city. It’s understandable as they look ‘tough’, and riders can easily cover the large distances required in a city as huge as Amsterdam.
Obviously, parents can’t expect their little Fleurs, Yasmina’s, Mo’s and Jeroen’s to use an ordinary bike to get around Amsterdam. That would be asking too much. Even if the journey from home to the local FEBO takes 10 minutes by bike, if the neighbors kids have fat bikes, then as a parent many of you feel compelled to make sure that your offspring have them too.
One might ask how people living on benefits and in social housing can afford to buy bikes that cost over a thousand euros, but perhaps it’s better not to dwell on that.
So the popularity of fat bikes has grown to a point now where in Amsterdam, it’s not possible to be on a bike lane for longer than a few minutes before being overtaken at high speed by children, often with two or three friends on the same bike. Many of the so-called fat bikes have had the legal speed limit for e-bikes of 25 km/h removed. This has led to the police seizing fat bikes that, in some cases, are able to reach speeds of 45 and even 60 km/h.
Children (and adults who behave like children) are effectively riding uninsured motorcycles without a license.
It’s good for you to know that:
- The fine for riding a speed-modified e-bike is 290 euros, and the bike can be seized by the police
- You have to be an incredibly irresponsible parent if you allow your children to ride a bike that can easily reach over 40 km/h
- The brakes of such bikes are not designed for such high speeds
- There’s been an increase in accidents involving fat bikes as a result of removing the speed limiters
- The points above might not bother you, but here’s something that will: You could be held financially liable for any damage caused by your spoilt brats if their kut fat bikes have been modified to exceed 25km/h
- Riding at such speeds without a crash helmet increases the chance of life-changing injuries or even fatalities in the event of an accident
- The police now have roller band devices that will allow them to test the speed of fat bikes, and they’ll be carrying out more controls in Amsterdam
No spoiled children were hurt during the writing of this message