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Need a Lift? Try Hitchhiking on a Bike

Adele Peters

A local bike group in the Dutch city of Utrecht put up (illegal) signs on streetposts marking hitchhiking spots for cyclists. Put your thumb out, and jump on the back of the next bike that stops. Even though the city took down a few of the signs, they liked the idea; it might not be long before official bike-hitchhiking signs go up.

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  • Laura Driscoll

    Has anyone read "Take a Seat" by Dominic Gill?

  • Mirjana Petrovic

    In Holland we ride bikes better then we drive cars. Most of the bike lanes are separated from the road and we're used to jump on the back of a bike. Even totally unbalanced/coordinated people like me can do it. Most racks can handle a hitchhiker. So I think it's a pretty nice idea, especially in Holland :D

  • Philip Meyer

    This can be unsafe. Most racks are not rated for more than 100 lb of "cargo." Most top out around 60 lb. I wouldn't want to fall off the rack suddenly in the middle of traffic!

    • Adele Peters

      Yeah, safety is a great point. I don't think it would be a good idea on a typical street in the United States with traffic...on the other hand, in places that have fully separated bike lanes, it probably wouldn't be a problem. Not sure about the weight issue. It's really common for people in the Netherlands to ride like this, and the only difference here is that you're giving lifts to strangers versus people you already know.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I wonder if that's comfortable? In those cases, I would totally get a booster seat.

    • Adele Peters

      Ha, yes, I think it depends on the bike! Dutch bikes like that seem to be pretty comfortable...when I was living in Sweden I definitely hitched several rides (although with friends, not strangers) sitting on a rack in the back of a bike. Surprisingly easy to balance even if you're as uncoordinated as I am.

      • Alessandra Rizzotti

        Good to know bec I am NOT what you call an amazing balancing act.