Hi Amsterdam Cycle Chic team,
I never had a driving license and I have never missed it because my bike brings me everywhere! Cycling is freedom.What is nicer than discovering the city by bike? I cycle a Bub by Batavus now but years ago I had a real old omafiets, and… a very sweet Jack Russell puppy. Maybe a nice picture for your blog?
We love it to receive an email like this. People sharing their bicycle stories with us. In that way we get to know our readers a bit. So thanks for sharing Louise!
After seeing Louise’s picture I went through our own photos and selected a few dogs in baskets (or crates) for you, something you see a lot in the streets of Amsterdam. And you see, big dogs, small dogs, they all love to go for a ride!
Afraid of the dark days ahead, many Amsterdammers dyed their hair in all the colors of the rainbow!
Most of the time, only a part of it. Most of the time, even only the tips of it..
I am lucky that the social enterprise JO Cadeau that I founded has its headquarters (and to be honest, only quarters) in this amazing building by Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck. It is an anti-squat arrangement; you pay very little and rent a space in a building that would otherwise be empty or occupied by squatters. It is great. It is in the city centre, in the old Jewish neighbourhood. The only disadvantage is that you can suddenly be ‘kicked out’ when the building is sold.
For lunch I love to go out to get some bread and nice Dutch cheeses that we eat all together (interns, freelancers and ourselves) in our office. When outside, I look at the cyclists. It is a diverse scenery at the Plantage Middenlaan. Check it out:
It is the time of the year again that all kids in Nothern Europe get really excited. Why? Because Santa Claus is coming to town! Sinterklaas is a lively tradition in Northern Europe. The legend goes that Sinterklaas, who lives in Spain, arrives by steamboat over the Amstel River every year. Reason for all parents to get their kids on the bike and follow this happy proceeding alongside the shores of the river.
This year the Sinterklaas tradition got a lot of attention from all over the world. Not for a positive reason, though. There has been a big controversy about Santa’s helpers, the ‘Black Peters’. Some think of it as a tradition that lacks respect to these nice ‘Zwarte Pieten’. You can read all about it in the NY times, the Washington post or even Aljazeera. Here are some ’Zwarte Pieten’ on roller blades:
Anyway, I don’t feel like taking any position. All I want to do is to share the joy of the kids and the devotion of their parents, carrying them on their bikes:
Remember Else’s project I bike ABC in Buenos Aires? Well this is the result: our pictures printed in huge and hanging in the ‘El Rosedal’ park of BA..
Copenhagen Cycle Chic is also part of the exhibition with some nice pictures:
On this warm summer night in August – with the winter closing in we are in need of some sunny shots – these two ladies turned a lot of heads on their way to their friday night activities. Very late that night I bumped into them at a sweaty dubstep party – still looking classy. Happy Friday, everybody!
Frederiksplein, here in Amsterdam. It’s 14h50. It is a day like any others. What is happening here? Nothing special, just some Amsterdammers – on bike of course – gathering at the exit of a school, the montessori school Asvo.
It seems like ages ago because of the enormous change in the weather conditions, but last week I was in sunny Utrecht for my cousin’s graduation. I took these pictures of the bikes and students in front of the Academic Library. You see the one where it says ‘Forbidden to park bikes’ (verboden rijwielen te plaatsen)?
Utrecht is a very pretty and old city full of nice shops, terraces along the canals, students, cafes, the dom tower and museums. If you’re ever in Amsterdam you must absolutely take the train for only half an hour to visit this lovely city.
For the ones living in Amsterdam, yesterday was a heavy day. The sky went dark, the wind started blowing very hard, announcing the storm that brought heavy old trees down. I hope everyone made it safe home..
Balloons? A birthday, for sure. Their daughter, son, niece or nephew? Or maybe just a friend that decided to celebrate his birthday the old way! Anyway >> happy birthday!
Over a year ago Joni and I sat in the train to visit our friend and former Cycle Chic member Milou in Berlin. About two weeks later I would leave for Buenos Aires and we were talking about the Netherlands Institute Buenos Aires (NIBA), with whose initiator, Silvia Rottenberg, I just got in touch. The institute was planning some projects with which to take part in the tandem Amsterdam Buenos Aires 2013, initiated by the Dutch Embassy. This tandem was organized to stimulate scientific and cultural exchange between the two countries – exactly the mission of the NIBA. Joni and I immediately came up with the brilliant plan to do a project on cycling. How much more Dutch can it get? It’s the Dutch ‘export-product’ and as Buenos Aires was developing to become a bicycle friendly city, this field of Dutch expertise could really contribute. And besides, this would be the way for Cycle Chic to conquer the world.
Silvia and the NIBA were just as excited and so we set it up. It started out with the plan of an exhibition with photographs of Amsterdam Cycle Chic and slowly grew out to be a much more large-scaled project. Also by examining the status of the bicycle culture in Buenos Aires, we realised a project with an emphasis on the sharing of expertise between the countries could be very interesting. We talked with almost anyone who has anything to do with cycling and became close with the City of Buenos Aires and the department of transport and mobility.
Ultimate Dutch/Argentine interchange: Maxima on wheels
The status of cycling in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is in the midst of a bicycle revolution. Since about ten years the use of the bicycle has increased, but obviously in a city dominated by motorized vehicles the car is still king of the road. Before, the bicycle was mainly used for delivery service, but it’s now a more common means of transport. Nonetheless many people only take out their bicycles on Sunday to cycle rounds in the park (wearing helmets and other protection gear..). But the City and many bicycle fans are trying to change this, and are proactively stimulating the use of bicycles as a daily means of transport. The City set up a very successful bicycle sharing program, offers discount on bicycles and organizes bicycle festivals to promote cycling. Besides that they are working hard on improving the infrastructure for cyclists, and by the end of this year Buenos Aires will have about 100 kms of bicycle lanes. Nonetheless the bicycle lanes are in very bad condition, there is no parking space, the bicycles are of bad quality and many other road users don’t respect cyclists. So there’s a lot to be done, and with this project we wanted to hitch into these urgent issues. We decided to set up expert meetings and put together Dutch and Argentine experts to talk about the different subjects.
The project continues
In the meanwhile Denmark joined us; the Danish Embassy also wanted to do a project on cycling and the Danes are obviously experts on the subject as well. This meant more knowledge, more fun and an even bigger project. So to the Dutch photos and experts the Danes added their own, and then the project as it is currently known came into existence: I bike ABC (Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen).
Though the Dutch and Danish Embassy supported the project, and many others like the City of Buenos Aires contributed in crucial ways, finances weren’t covered by far and we’ve been hunting for sponsors for months on end. We had to postpone the project several times. But in the end we found the international company Shimano willing to support the project, and now finally, after more than a year, the project has its kick off this weekend.
I bike ABC
The project consists of several parts. This weekend I bike ABC will have a stand at Shimano Fest, with information available about cycling in the Netherlands and Denmark, and with the ambassadors of both countries participating in a bicycle tour. Both will be interviewed on cycling on the main stage, which will be broadcast on television.
At the end of October the Dutch and Danish experts will arrive. During three days they will take part in intensive result driven expert meetings, which are shaped around several subjects. They will discuss, together with Argentine experts, issues of infrastructure, parking space, bicycle design, bicycle culture, etc. And it will not only be talking; the City of Buenos Aires has given a couple of case studies on which the experts will focus. The idea is to enter into a long-lasting collaboration between the experts and cities, and really focus on solutions and results.
In the same weekend the expert meetings take place, on the 1st of November, the Cycle Chic exhibition will open in Museo de la Ciudad, in the City Museum of Buenos Aires. Forty pictures of Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Amsterdam Cycle Chic will be arranged in different themes, and several bicycles, like a real Dutch Vanmoof bicycle will be shown. Besides an inside exhibition the Cycle Chic photos, and archival photos of both cities (like the famous picture below of Ed van der Elsken), will be shown on large format in different parks in the city. A lot of visibility! With these pictures we hope to show how normal and daily cycling is, and want to amaze passers-by with the beautiful Cycle Chic photos.
That is not the Vanmoof bicycle by the way, it’s a very old one found in the City Museum of Buenos Aires.. You can follow the project on the Facebook page of I bike ABC, and pictures of the inside and outside exhibition will follow soon!
I am just back from a long weekend in Sevilla with my family. It was really good to see them all! The city is beautiful, as was the weather: 30 degrees! Great way to extend the summer.. There were many cycle chicsters like those young Spanish people or my sister/mother:
Next to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Cathedral and the Alcázar palace , we biked to the CAAC (Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo). This museum, build in an ancient monastery, is a very inspiring place that’s worth the detour..
Not only locals or ‘cycle chic families’ rent bikes or use the Sevici to get around, here you have a group of Italian friends, enjoying Sevilla by bike.
Probably coming back from the guitar lesson on the back of her mum’s bike. One of the first songs you learn on the guitar is the famous ‘Hey Jude’. So if you feel inspired: just find a guitar, a good tutorial on youtube and start playing! Or just listen to this old classic..
About a month ago I moved to my new home in the North of Amsterdam. Growing up in the city centre, the north – even though Amsterdam is as small as it gets – feels like moving to another city. Why? Mainly because the north of town is separated from the city centre by the ‘IJ’ river (it’s actually a lake and originally a bay, but most of all it’s a lot of water). Moving to ‘Noord’ has proven the distance to be peanuts, the ferry takes you to the the epicenter of Amsterdam in only a few minutes – a service provided for free, as you have to make a big detour cycling to the nearest bridge.
For many Amsterdam citizens Noord used to be where to go only for underground house parties, roaming the big flee market or visiting your great-aunt Babs or Miep – now the area is very ‘up and coming’. With the city centre slowly turning into an open air museum, the north of town appeals as a more spacious and less crowded area. A lot of creative and alternative initiatives are settling on ‘the other side’ and many cafes and restaurants in industrial settings give Noord a fresh and lively character. Check out I love Noord to see what’s up.
So having to take the ferry isn’t that bad at all. It gives you a moment to catch your breath, let the wind blow through your hair, enjoy the beautiful skies, and check out all the nice cyclist commuters. Aude made a cool video where you can see a few cyclists getting on the ferry just in time, and made a post about Amsterdam North before, remember? The snapshots in this post give you an impression of cyclists taking the ferry from before sunrise until after sunset.
Curly hair, dirty shoes and plastic bag. Those 2 guys cycling along the Amstel look like they are heading to a party outside, maybe the last one of the season.
Now Pete gave Amsterdam Cycle Chic a signed copy of the book that we can give away!
How do you win? Send us by mail, post on our Facebook page or in our Flickr group a picture of your own ‘history of cycling’. So for example a picture of yourself as a baby on the back of your dads bike, your mother in a hippy dress on a Dutch bike or a picture of your home town full of cyclists a few decades ago.
The picture of Aude’s husband Willem that she posted a few weeks ago is the perfect example. Join the competition and win!
Technology kills contact. Without her phone, she would have asked her way to someone. And this someone may have become a new friend, a new colleague, a new love. OK, I stop. She just needed a good map of Amsterdam!
Amsterdam really is an urban jungle; a few weeks ago we saw giraffes cycling through the city, and this weekend there were penguins and polar bears on Dutch bikes. It was part of the Greenpeace campaign to save the arctic. People were dressed like arctic animals or were carrying animals in their crates or cargo bikes to protest against oil companies destroying the land and climate. Because most of the Netherlands actually lies below sea level, the consequences of the polar cap melting can be huge for this country. So what do the Dutchies do? They get on their bikes and protest!
Read more about the ‘save the arctic‘ campaign.
I am not Dutch but married with a real one and this is a proof! Earlier this year, we had a baby-girl, sweet little Alice. We wanted to know who she looks like so we had a look at photos of my man when he was a kid. When I saw those pictures of him (in the front seat) with his brother on the back seat of their mum’s bike, I had one thought : “cycle chic back in the 80′s” !
Mint green, the color of the summer! Fitting with the color of the museum Nemo, the place to discover science and technology in a fun and educational way. Ok, I confess I have never been there.. Even if they have a great terrace on their inclinated roof. One of the nine things to do when Amsterdam is sunny, see here.
Please join me for a cycle on a sunny day in August along the river Amstel.
Before your baby is big enough to travel in a baby-seat on the front of your bike, take him out this way and keep on cycling!
Constructing your own bicycle out of old parts? That’s something Niels Gomperts loves to do, as his two striking, circus-like bicycles illustrate. Actually, Niels is a selfmade handyman who can fix and construct almost anything. And with artists’ blood flowing through his veins, all his creations have an artistic touch.
His beautiful home in the heart of Amsterdam, which seems to be an ongoing creative construction site, represents his bohemian lifestyle. In front of his house, his two bicycles are parked on a bridge.
Cycling all the way to Poland Niels and his friends made a pit stop in Berlin, where they visited a friend with a very colourful collection of bicycles. Returning home Niels couldn’t wait to get started on his own. For both bicycles he used old bicycle-parts, and for the steering wheel of the ‘low-rider’ he ‘borrowed’ his grandmothers walking frame. Nice touch!
Though he doesn’t ride them daily, he does take them out to cruise through the Vondelpark – sometimes accompanied by a sound installation – or go to a cafe. Of course he fell of a number of times, but hey, that’s the best way to learn. Now he can handle just about any moving vehicle.
Niels isn’t just a skilled handyman, he is also an actor and appears on Dutch television and in several movies. He acted in the movies Lena and Shocking Blue, but he is probably best known for his role in Penoza, a fantastic television show about a Dutch mafia family. So Niels is definitely a talented and remarkable individual. If you keep an eye out, you might see him cruising around town with his head in the clouds.
Anyone up for short Dutch lesson? I already told you at the time what was an “Opa“. Now let’s talk about the “Oma”: it is the grandma. You may think I love old people, and I do. But I am not the one who invented the expression “Omafiets”. “Fiets” means bike in Dutch so “Omafiets” is a grandma bike. And trust me the Omafiets is the fancy old classic that most of people in Amsterdam are riding on.