Amsterdam is an enviably liveable city in so many ways, but what I like most about day-to-day life there is its bike friendliness - we're talking hundreds of miles of flat, car-free cycle lanes. I speak as a resident of Bath, where the terrible traffic and the hills make getting round by bike a distinctly unappealing option.
However, to be frank you have to be pretty hardy to enjoy cycling around Amsterdam in winter. When I rented a bike for a few days back in February, even wearing thick gloves I still had to clutch the handlebars with painfully numb fingers.
But I can strongly recommend cycling around the city when it's milder - ie now. Last April, I spent a long weekend in Amsterdam with my family, and the indisputable highlight for all concerned was renting bikes.
Despite the cycle lanes, my boys - then aged six and four - were nonetheless too young to have their own bikes. So we splashed out on a bakfiets or "box bike", a magnificent Dutch invention that allows two small children to sit side by side on a mini bench within a sturdy wooden box positioned in front of the rider. The arrangement meant that my boys got a grandstand view of Amsterdam's classic sights - canals, gables, er outdoor urinals - and I could distract them when we passed any wacky-backy coffee shops or prostitutes' windows.
Funniest moment: Arthur, our elder boy, accidentally knocking over one of our bikes into a long line of others - all of which toppled down like a row of dominoes.
MacBike (www.macbike.nl) rents box bikes for 25 euros a day. For more on cycling in Amsterdam, see How to get around Amsterdam.