Amsterdam has, according to the local statistics office, some 550,000 bikes, of which 44,000 are stolen every year.

No hills and cycle lanes everywhere mean bikes are the only way to get around Amsterdam unless there is a thick layer of snow, in which case everything grinds to a halt anyway.

But cyclists are still prepared to give it a go even in a blizzard. Some 23% of Amsterdammers use their bike to get to work.

If you are are a tourist and unless you are used to cycling in your own town, don't try it here. Dutch cyclists make up their own rules of the road. There are lots of bike rental places in town, but I'm not going to tell you where.

Tourists wobbling about on rented bikes heading three abreast the wrong way up a cycle track are among the Amsterdammer's biggest bugbears.