Amsterdam receives it fair share of precipitation throughout the year, which you get fairly used to the longer you live here. I mean the trade offs are well worth it (just quietly) with our winding canals, cobblestoned streets and unbeatable old world charm, I’m happy to don a fuzzy/soggy hair day now and then.
But us Amsterdammers can get through the last-minute always unpredictable showers pretty simply by a) shielding one’s hair with our hand, b) wrapping our cardigan on our heads or c) un-crumpling our plastic emergency poncho from our pockets whilst not falling over. Easy right?
However turning cycling in the rain into an artform is all about finding the right (stylish) raincoat, mastering the balance of steering whilst carrying your stylish (aerodynamic) umbrella is another thing altogether.
You can add that to my personal bucket list..
Steampunk may be a fantastical and fictional era from the 19th century, but in Amsterdam in 2014 you see all eras combining into one contemporary and amazing milkshake.
I rode passed this copper-coloured beauty and had to turn around and take a better look. Upon closer inspection I discovered a vintage lantern replacing conventional rear-lighting, and an old fashioned horn for alerting fellow pedestrians and cyclists of this beasts stealth approach. This bike also had a small leather chest and camera case (to carry life’s necessities naturally) topping it all off with a skull fixed on the handlebars – to guide the riders journey.
With rise of the popularity of this genre in The Netherlands through alternative festivals here such as Nox Obscura, Gogbot and Emporium Vennesque you may just be seeing some more kooky wheels flying past you in the near future.
Tiago Rosado realized this cool film with badseedfilms
Vitor is a Portuguese bike fanatic who owns and runs Recycled Bicycles here in Amsterdam. Meredith already made Vitor one of our cyclist of the month on our blog, have a look!
Do you match your outfits to your bike? I doubt she meant to, but look at that! Blue and red, with red flowers, bell, and panniers to boot.
There are over 850, 000 bikes in Amsterdam. With these numbers, you want to stand out from the crowd. Us local Amsterdammers do this in many ways – from our baskets and spray jobs (mostly DIY) through to colourful personalised stickers and bells. And just when you thought spokey dokeys were stuck in the 1980’s. No way! The Dutch love pimping their bikes.
Speaking of, if you’re in town on June 1, check out the Fiets Festival (site is in Dutch) happening at Waterlooplein in Amsterdam, where there will be food, cool tunes and a chance to pimp your own bike! Hope to see you there!
Look at that cute little thing! Aw. His little ears flapping in the wind.
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.