Expat Life

The Inevitable Bike Butt of a New Amsterdam Expat

Part of traveling or becoming an expat is getting out of your comfort zone. That literally means being uncomfortable. It’s all part of the experience!

When you’re moving to Amsterdam (or any bike-loving city), and you are moving from a place where you rarely rode a bike, you may experience something I call “Bike Butt”.

I am so curious what your first impression of the term Bike Butt is…what do you think it could be? Remember that and then let me know in the comments what the first thing that popped into your head was!


bikes in Amsterdam


Bike Butt: n. Meaning the bruise-like feeling you get on your butt after riding a bike that only happens when you haven’t ridden in a long time.

Let me explain this a bit better…

I’ve spoken with expats in Amsterdam that won’t ride bikes because they say their bums just don’t want to be on the seat anymore. And it does hurt. Trust me.

The thing is, this goes away! Time heals all.

It’s beyond my understanding, and the Dutch don’t seem to know about it since they’ve probably been riding bikes since they were in diapers, but it’s most common of those who aren’t used to riding bikes. I guess their butts just aren’t used to a bike seat.

Of course I went through this as well upon buying my bike. I was so frustrated and a bit angry. I started biking short distances but no more than that because after 10 minutes, my butt would hurt. Seriously, it was like it was telling me to never ride again! Then, the next day, I would hop on my bike, it felt like a bruise…way on the bottom part of my bottom. If you pushed on that spot, it felt like a bruise.

A bruise on the bottom of your butt…



work bike in Amsterdam


This is soooo annoying for someone who will be commuting on a bike! I could not bear the thought of this pain

Obviously this turns people off of biking. I mean, who wants to do something that constantly causes pain?! But when the alternatives are inconvenient, and I know it’s how I should be getting around, I stuck to it.


It stopped! About a week to a week and a half, it stopped hurting. I’ve gone about 3 weeks without biking and I got back on and it hurt a little. Now that I know it goes away, it’s much easier to get back on that saddle. *pun intended*

But I’m here to tell you, don’t stop riding! It gets better!!

bike on wall in Amsterdam

My friends told me I should write about this as people may be able to relate…so if you can relate, please share with a friend of yours that may need to read up on this phenomenon.

The inevitable bike butt of an Amsterdam expat

9 thoughts on “The Inevitable Bike Butt of a New Amsterdam Expat

  1. Bike butt…what I thought when I read that – it’s that feeling of having taken a few swift kicks from a steel toed boot to your sit-bones. Gets better with time…but those first couple of weeks can be rough.

  2. The Netherlands (Amsterdam, especially) is calling me and we are planning our first visit in April with a four year plan to move there one day. I’ve driven myself crazy on websites trying to find places to visit that are off the beaten path, with history and beauty, and picture worthy. Could you give me and idea of some places that are a “must see” during our trip? We are staying in Amsterdam and visiting Geithoorn at least a day.

    1. I hope you love it in the Netherlands! I certainly do 🙂
      Interesting places in the Netherlands near(ish) to Amsterdam could be Texel in the north, Dordrecht south of the city, and you should visit Haarlem.

  3. I never had this problem too much having been an avid cyclist in Dublin too. My issue was wet butt! My saddle cover isn’t great and on rainy days sometimes I forget and I’m walking around with wet patches on my backside, none the wiser!

    1. Oh, I learned to carry around a spare trash bag in my backpack for these kinds of situations ? I can’t stand wet butt! Though it doesn’t last as long as bike butt.

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