Loving. This. Hair.
Have you been to Berlin? Wow, what a city. This weekend I was super impressed with the numbers of cyclists their chic style.
Though the cities are very different, Berliners and Amsterdammers have quite a lot in common when it comes to cycling, also a few new things to learn! So if you’re in Berlin, here’s how to cycle chic. Check it out:
PS. Berlin has their own cycle chic blog, check them out here!
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.
She is ready for spring!
I have a red bike, so I’m always on the look-out for fellow red-bike-lovers. These three hip ladies all look spring-tastic on their red bikes! Listening to music, sporting the bright green bike bell and yellow pants, thigh-highs, skirts and heels–nice. Keep riding those red bikes!
You probably already noticed it on our blog, but to have a crate on the front of your bike is really trendy in Amsterdam! Hardly any cute baskets in the streets just cool and sturdy crates, in different colours, sometimes branded or full of stickers. What do you think of this trend?
Oh hello there, Mr. Sunday! Where are you pedaling off to with those goodies from de Bijenkorf and AH? Looking super chic in those yellow pants and that 5 o’clock shadow (not too bad for Movember).
The advantage of the ever populair fixies is that it allows you to cross town, while keeping style and speed to a maximum.
Add to this a scenery of typical Amsterdam canals and you are once more convinced of the fact that Amsterdam cycles chic!
This weekend is your last chance to send in pictures for the Music & Bikes competition to win a Hotelfietsbel. So we thought we might give you some more inspiration with these pictures of Amsterdam cyclists.
To win a Hotelfietsbel (hotel bike bell), the coolest bell in Amsterdam, you can post your pictures of Music & Bikes to our Facebook wall, our Flickr Group, or just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Aude: Where are you from?
Meredith: I am originally from the beautiful Central Coast of California. I first moved to Rotterdam in December 2010, when I just finished urban planning studies at UC Berkeley, and my husband was accepted to graduate school at Erasmus. Now we live in Amsterdam, since July ’12, and totally love it here.
Aude: How do find living in Amsterdam?
Meredith: Of course I dearly miss our friends and family, but our Dutch life is easy to love. I have totally fallen for this city; there’s always something to see, a new adventure every day, a gezellig café to try, and of course, riding a bicycle is so easy and so chic. On the side, I have my own photo blog about our life and travels here called Dutch Pancake.
Aude: Tell us the story about your bike.
Meredith: It was love at first site. I named her Rosa. She is a second-hand Batavus Old Dutch from a bike shop in the Pijp. I added the bike shelf thingie and a second-hand basket from my favorite vintage store on Vijzelstraat.
Aude: How did you find us and why?
Meredith: I met the guy behind Copenhagen Cycle Chic at an event at the Pakhuis and he introduced me to Joni. As an urban planner and cycling fiend (and photography enthusiast), it just seemed natural to be a part of this cycle chic movement. Any way I can promote cycling to the world–I’m in!
Aude: Well, welcome! We’re glad to have you join us!
The most original bike gadget seen in Amsterdam’s streets is definitely the Hotelfietsbel (Hotel Bike Bell). It is the famous hotel bell, but then on a bicycle. It is stylish, shiny and makes a great sound.
The Hotel bike bell is an invention of Anton Frima. He makes the bells himself at home. He already sold more than a hundred and not only in The Netherlands, he also ships them to other countries. We got to know this bike bell by this great video made by Amsterdam artist Aart Taminiau. Watch it and learn more about the history of the hotel bike bell!
Anton came up with the idea when he was buying a bicycle bell in a Dutch warehouse and saw the ‘Hotel Bell’. “Why can’t I put that bell on my bike? It makes a loud enough sound, looks good and is something different”, he thought. So he decided to investigate everything about Hotel bells. He bought many different ones, on flee markets and on the internet, to find the perfect hotel bell for on a bicycle. He also came up with a way to assemble the Hotel bell to a bike and has been working on perfectionising the bell since March 2011.
Anton was born and raised in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. He lives in Amsterdam since 2009. Anton works full time at Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans frontières) and in his spare time he is making the bike bells and cycles his Dutch bike or races on his racing bike. He delivers the bells for free in Amsterdam and even assembles them to your bike!
I often get spotted while taking pictures of our beloved Amsterdammers on 2 wheels! Most of the time people smile at me or even strike their best pose for the picture. And sometimes people also wave at me, like this nice guy I photographed from the bridge above the Vondelpark.
Else spotted this guy in one of Amsterdam’s metro stations. With the orange wheels it was actually hard to miss him! You see these trendy fixed gear or racing style bikes more and more often in the streets of Amsterdam.
On a very hot day in Amsterdam (people were jumping in the canals to cool down) we met up with Mathijs. Mathijs is a 24-year old freewheeler who is a hands-on kind of guy. After being apprenticed by a traditional cordwainer, Mathijs is now starting up his own business as a shoemaker. He makes handcrafted leather shoes, which last a lifetime. His handiness and inventiveness are also represented on his bicycle. Inspired by Swiss military bicycles from the early twentieth century he created his own framebag from truck tarp. With this rock solid bag he uses the spatial design of his bicycle to the fullest and has his bottle of water and swimsuit within reach.
There’s a new bag in town. A bag designed to lift the weight (of your grocery-filled) bag from your shoulders onto your bike. The bag is made from recycled material by Demano in Barcelona and the Cycle Chic team decided to take it for a testcycle. The test didn’t just last for a day; it is now a permanent accessory on one of our bicycles.
This colourful bag is made of second hand material and may remind you of Freitag bags. We were impressed by it since it’s a cool counterpart to the much used bicycle crate. You can easily clip it onto your bike’s handlebars (after installing a clip-on system) and even lock it so the bag won’t get ripped from your bike. The sizes vary, but the Tibidabo bag we used can easily fit your gym-necessities, picnic goods, your laptop and other daily stuff.
A big advantage is that, compared to a bike crate or basket, you never have a problem manoeuvring your bike into a bicycle rack as, obviously, the bag follows you everywhere. Another advantage is that it resists the rain, which, in a rainy city is Amsterdam, is very important!
But there’s also (as always) a small disadvantage: when using it as a handbag, the shape is kind of strange; the round metal bracing makes it rather big and round (kind of like carrying a basket as a handbag). With the smaller bags you might not encounter this problem. Besides this small remark, Cycle Chic thinks this bag would definitely be a great addition to Amsterdam’s cycling culture.
It’s a project based on the combination of environmental awareness and design, using several recycled materials. It started with the purpose of using discarded advertising material – PVC, polyester – from banners promoting exhibitions, festivals and cultural events.
All Demano bags are one of a kind. The pictures are only a reference. The design of each bag depends on what banner has been used in its making, so you can choose if you prefer them to be more colourful or else to have more solid colours. Anyway, depending on stock, you could ask for a whole collection of bags made from the same banner.
Order your Demano bag at Citybici
Japanese painting is one of the oldest and most highly refined arts, encompassing a wide variety of genres and styles. This idyllic scene, shot at the heart of Amsterdam ( in the Vondelpark) took me away to ancient Japan for a couple of seconds: Geisha-style knotted hair, a touch of red on the lips, and …isn’t that the shadow of a cherry blossom tree?
This last Friday of the month, the Cycle Chic Republic collected pictures of mothers and fathers cycling with their kids from all over the world.
The sun is out, the sky is blue, the city is waiting for you….
Everybody is enjoying Amsterdam on his bike, especially when it comes to getting warm under the sun while waiting in front of a cross road, like this old man.
Recycling, that is the central concept of the art mother and son Lia and Karel van Vugt make. At the moment they organise expositions with their sculptures made out of bike tyres; a dog, a rooster, fish and many others. From a distance you don’t immediately see that every part of the sculpture is made out of tyres, but when you take a closer look you see the names of bike tyre brands written on the sculptures.
This is a short video (with English subtitles) of the opening of the exposition in gallery Fontana Fortuna at the Keizersgracht inAmsterdam where the Amsterdam Cycle Chic team went. At the moment you can see Karel and Lia’s sculptures at the Beethovenstraat 65 in Amsterdam.
While the citizens of Amsterdam temporarily swap their bicycles for ice-skates, part of the Amsterdam Cycle Chic team visited Morocco. In Morocco we encountered a widespread and very colourful cycling culture, which is not only limited to its cities and villages. Apparently even the desert offers a good soil for cycling. You do have to be a skilled cyclist to be able to mount the sand dunes of the Sahara.
In the medinas of Rissani and Marrakech the bicycle is, next to donkeys, a much-used vehicle for transport. Vegetables, eggs, or even groceries for the whole week are being transported by bicycle.
While a young girl is proudly showing of her red mountain bike in Ouarzazate, an old man is using his bike as a chair while chatting with friends in Rissani.
The colourful aspect of Morocco’s cycling culture manifests itself in its cheerful coloured bicycles and accessories. Check out the cool pannier bags and saddle covers. As you can see, I even had my own made!
Fixed Gear bicycles (a.k.a. fixies) are getting more and more popular. They’re already part of the daily streetscape of Amsterdam and gaining ground in the rest of the world. For those who’ve not yet heard about this type of bike: Fixed Gear bicycles have no freewheel, meaning –as the name kind of reveals- that you cannot change gear. Also, the bike is brakeless. When it’s moving, the pedals will be in motion as well…
Why do people ride those bikes, you might wonder. A legitimate question. Especially in the crowded streets of Amsterdam it can actually be a life threatening way of transportation. Fixed gears are originally designed for track cycling in a velodrome. Without breaks and gears, the bike is low-weight and therefore it’s easy to accelerate and maintain high speed. From the tracks it has found its way to bike messengers, who also use their Fixed Gear in the famous alleycat races. Because of its appealing and sporty look, Fixed Gear has become the transport of choice of fashionable hipsters nowadays, even despite their lack of brakes.
Border City Bikes
Designer Josha Roymans is smartly responding to the spreading Fixed Gear movement and has started Border City Bikes, a brand new brand for custom bicycle parts. He has designed a wooden handlebar, handmade (and therefore unique) of ecological Dutch wood from gardeners and foresting. This environmentally friendly bar comes in three types: one made of yew, one made of oak and one made of robinia. All of them are finished with ecological oil. Before the release on December 1st at Bike shop Pristine Fixed Gear they were already selling like hot cakes.
Want one? Check www.bordercitybikes.com.
While strolling along the Amsterdam canals it becomes clear: bikes, and fixies in particular, are no longer only a matter of transportation. Bikes, rather than cars, have grown out to be the urban status symbol. In the city, it’s all about bikes now.