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:
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!
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” !
Getting your two kids on your bike can be quite a balancing act. Check out how this dad gets his son in the back seat. He clearly does this more often!
Before kids can cycle themselves, they have already been on a bike many times. Dads and mums take them in a carrier, a child seat or in the cargo bike and cycle them around. To daycare, to the supermarker or just for a relaxed ride through town. Kids love it. You see them looking around, enjoying the speed when cycling down a bridge or just sleeping like angels.
Ed is born in Assendelft. He moved with his sweet wife Ellie to Amsterdam in the 60’s where they got 3 daughters. Ed retired 8 years ago after having served as a social worker for 30 years. Next to his work, Ed has always been a big collector. He used to pile baskets on his bakfiets and cycle all over Amsterdam, looking for pieces of bikes, etc.
As you can see, both house and bicycle storage contain huge collections of all kinds of items Amsterdammers ever left on the street…
One day, Ed and his wife were asked by their daughter to look after her newborn twins: Ines and Sofia. Ed’s daughter is a graphic designer and works full time from home. She is very good by the way, see here.
As they live on opposite sides of Amsterdam, Ed had to find a solution to go and get Ines and Sofia twice a week.
So 1,5 year ago, Ed decided to give a new life to his bakfiets. He removed the pile of baskets and made this unique creation to carry this precious duo:
The bakfiets itself is actually older than Ed himself! But, as Ed likes to put it: «this sort of quality is nowhere to be found anymore these days».
As you can imagine, they do not go unnoticed. Many tourists as well as locals have already got a snap of them!
This is a picture he took of another of his daughters with some more grandkids:This bakfiets has a nice story :Translation : «The story started with my friend Henk. A long time ago he made a bakfiets in the form of a bible. He used to cycle around Amsterdam with it for years. He also set up the bakfietsclub of Amsterdam. I became myself the chairman, secretary and treasurer. Henk passed away a few years ago. It seemed that his last wish was to be buried in his bible. So we drove him in his bakfiets to his last resting place. Henk’s daughters offered me the undercarriage of the bakfiets. In his attic, Henk still kept a float of a waterplane;just to have something to sail away with, in case a deluge would ever occur. We have then installed the float on the bakfiets and it is still on it today.» Ed Koomen.
Ed never had a car, he is a member of the cyclist union Fietsersbond. He is a real Dutch man; healthy and happy to cycle! Inspired by the Roman times, his motto is «veni, vidie, fietsie».
Ines and Sofia : enjoy the ride!
PS : As it’s never too late to start learning Dutch, here you go: Opa = grandfather and bakfiets = delivery bike
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 email@example.com
The two-weeks of summer are suddenly over. The rain has returned. But sometimes, suddenly, the sun breaks through the clouds. Then everybody goes outside to enjoy it!
The little girl is a bit sceptical about the sudden sunshine and is checking if there really isn’t any rain falling from the sky…
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.
First I got the mother cycling by with her 2 kids (she is holding one against her chest). And few bikes later, appeared the daddy, carrying all the necessary for a day at the park…What a cool bohemian style!
In the Cycle Chic Republic it is all about Style over Speed. In Amsterdam it generally is, you do not see that many sporty cyclists in the city that just want to go as fast as possible. What you do see are stylish speedy cyclists. They wear normal clothes, they cycle a Dutch bike, but they are going really fast! Probably late for a date, or just work, or a boring meeting or maybe their kids are waiting to be picked up from school…
In Amsterdam you see many parents cycling with their kids. With one or two kids it is easy enough, but cycling on one bike with three kids is quite a balancing act. Especially when it is not a cargo bike. Our friends from Hungary managed to capture this on film:
The Amsterdam Cycle Chic team spotted this mum. Cycling with two of her kids on her bike (one sitting backwards) and her third child on her own bicycle in Amsterdam City Centre.
This is not the first time we post images of one mum cycling with three kids, check out our other post.
This weekend our friend Áron from Hungarian Cycle Chic visited the Netherlands. He made this cool video of rush hour in Amsterdam’s city centre. Check out all the people chatting, making phone calls and rushing to work. You can also clearly see how popular the bicycle crate is in the Netherlands. The Mr Visserplein, where the video was shot, isn’t what you call the most beautiful spot in Amsterdam, but for Áron it was ‘Heaven’….
On this one it is quite obvious, this mother has her 3 kids in her Marilyn Monroe’s delivery bike:
On this one, you have to focus, but there are also 3 kids: one on the bike in front, one attached to the bike behind, and one …