Loving this chick’s style. Black on gray on white, with the black Nike Frees — on a classic black Omafiets. Plus the big bun on top. And Ray-Bans to make it stick. Nice.
Hats are all the rage these days. Are you seeing them everywhere, too? Today was a great day for a hat. Typical Dutch weather that leaves you with the slightest chill. I just wonder if her hat stayed on her head the whole time, or did the wind blow it away at some point? Guess we’ll never know…
Amsterdam that is. You can bump (or ride) into someone you know at any moment. Those spontaneous meet ups on your bike are the best, right? Makes up for the random hail storm you just biked through seconds before.
I saw these guys chatting it up, laughing, and recounting some silly story. Some definite bromance going on. Has this happened to you? How many friends have you seen randomly on a single ride or in a day?
His great grandfather had a bicycle shop, where his grandmother spoked wheels in the cold Dutch winters and his father ran around as a little boy. At the age of 3 Elian learned how to cycle, when 15 years old he started to work in a bike shop and now he has designed the ultimate city bike, the Minute. In short; Elian’s life is all about bicycles!
The ultimate city bike
Elian is a bike designer. He makes handcrafted bicycles; “the process of designing a bike starts with a blank paper, I talk to the customer, what does he/she want, what is their ideal cycling position, where and how will they use the bike, I take their measurements and then I start.The result is the perfect bike for that person.”
While designing these bikes, Elian realized many people were looking for a bike that would solve the typical urban biking problems many people face: “It should be a bike that they could leave in their apartment (not to get stolen on the street). Not too heavy, not too big, easy maneuverable in the busy city centre’s of Amsterdam and Utrecht and easy to park in the full bike parking’s. Also most people want to sit upright, cycle comfortably and they want to be able to carry groceries and kids on their bikes. When I kept hearing those same requests for a bike, I decided to design the Ultimate City Bike. And we just launched it: the Minute.”
Great grandfather’s bike shop
Elian’s great grandfather had a bike shop in Maarn (close to Utrecht). Elian’s father still remembers being there as a little boy: “His grandfather was a typical bike repairman. He always wore a blue overall, his hands were black of all the repair work and he was always smoking. He still remembers the smell of his workplace.” In the village of Maarn almost everyone had a Fongers bicycle. “The winters were much harsher then, so in winter people couldn’t cycle because of all the snow, in these winters there were no repairs to do. In those months my great grandparents and grandparents had another task: spoking wheels for Fongers. That is how it went in those days.”
Elian lives in Leersum, a village in the green Utrechtse Heuvelrug. His workplace is in the shed of his parents in Maurik. Every morning he cycles to work through the forest and the fields. He has a little son for whom he built a walking bike. “I get a lot of support from my family; my wife moved mountains to get the Minute launched, my 16 year old brother helps building bikes, and my father brings technical knowledge – which often comes in handy.” Even Elian’s grandmother offered help: “Let me know when I can help, I can still spoke wheels like in the old days!”
Most Dutch women probably know NSMBL. It is a very popular blog about fashion, lifestyle, relationships, home interior, and (the looks of) celebrities. The Cycling with… team went for a cycle with Anna, the co-founder of NSMBL. They talk about fashion, Amsterdam and Anna’s Iranian roots. Enjoy the video!
It’s official: Spring is in the air! My favorite day of the year. The first really nice day that you don’t need gloves or wool socks.
Lovely 17-degree sunny weather brought all of Amsterdam to the Vondel Park for some much-deserved sun-on-skin action. Ahhhh doesn’t it feel so good. The park was full of people and their bikes thrown anywhere. It’s like as soon as they got to a sufficiently grassy and sunny spot–the kickstands came down, pants rolled up, and blankets strewn. Dust off those sunglasses (or just squint like a real Amsterdammer) and pop the prosecco, because spring is here.
Last weekend I went to the Ij Hallen flea market over in Noord. Have you been? It’s fun to check out all the funky stuff people are selling–and of course to people watch. Hipster mania! But all types of people, too. Old and young, local and foreign, it doesn’t matter.
My favorite parts of the journey are waiting for the ferry to get there, and waiting for the ferry to go back. Then you get to see all the cool stuff people picked up — often tied to their bike in creative ways. I always end up saying to myself “What!? How did I not see that!” Ugh, next time. Next time.
Since December passed us by so quickly we are just now getting to share some big news. US-based urban cycling mag, Momentum Magazine, featured our very own Amsterdam Cycle Chic girls in their December issue. Joni and I wrote a brief article with tips about the best cycling city in the world, including a few pointers on “how to cycle like an Amsterdammer”. In the 2-page spread they also featured photos by us — and Aude’s shot of me for last year’s Cyclist of the Month was chosen for the cover! You can still download the December issue here.
We love opportunities like this. Sharing Amsterdam’s unique and amazing – and all so normal at the same time – bike ‘culture’ with the world is one reason this blog exists. So keep on cycling chic, Amsterdam!
Our friends from Cycling with… have made yet another cool video in Amsterdam. This time they want for a cycle with art hirstorian Max Put. In the video you see beautiful examples of the famous ‘Amsterdam School‘ architecture. Max tells you all about this group of young architects and how they wanted to challenge the status quo of more traditional architecture with their new vision on the combination of functionality and style. They wanted to make ‘architecture art again’.
So watch this video! It really makes you feel like you’re on a bike in Amsterdam, while learning a lot about this interesting and revolutionary architecture.
Cycling with… is a blog that focuses on the social side of cycling. Paddy and Philip interview people while cycling around in their city. In the interviews a broad range of topics is covered. Want to know more and see what kind of cool filming technique they use? Check out their cycling blog!
It’s winter, so bring on the boots! Low boots, tall boots, boots with heels, cowboy boots–no matter the size, color or shape, Amsterdammers love their boots. Check out these Sunday boots on bikes…
Loving. This. Hair.
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!
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:
When it comes to cycling the Dutch love to double up. Especially on chilly, wintery days like today, it seems like the only way to get around is to jump on the back on your friend’s bike and snuggle up close. Or hop on a tandem like the adorable cutie-pie in the last pic! Don’t lose those flowers!
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.
It’s really fall now, right? I love this time of year in Amsterdam. The colors, fresh air, and just a little bit of sun. A perfect day for a ride along the canals. Don’t you think?
On a Saturday afternoon at StarBikes, I met up with Pete Jordan, author of In The City of Bikes, to talk about his book, Amsterdam, and of course, cycling. In The City of Bikes is a memoir-like historical fact book telling the story of Amsterdam’s cycling history and culture. It takes you back to the 1890s, through the Nazi occupation, and to the city still filled with bikes we know today.
How long have you been in Amsterdam?
I came to Amsterdam in 2002 to take a one-semester-long urban planning course. 11 years, 8 apartments, and 4 bikes later, I’m still here. I blame the bikes.
Your book is all about the history of cycling in Amsterdam. What’s your favorite bit of history?
I found the war years (WWII) incredibly interesting. Amsterdammers showed a massive amount of resistance to the Germans. And it was something everyone could do: lolly-gag on their bikes in front of an impatient, waiting, honking German car.
What was the inspiration behind the book?
I was enthralled by all the cyclists from day I arrived in Amsterdam and I started asking around for books about it. To my surprise, I found nothing. Cycling is so normal in this city that no one has bothered to write a book about the topic!
And the best or worst thing about cycling in Amsterdam?
I’m still amazing that it keeps growing! Look at the Haarlemmerstraat, the best street in Amsterdam. You’d think all the cyclists going every which way would cause complete chaos–but in fact, it works. My least favorite is tied between the tourists and scooters. Yesterday I saw 2 tourists collide in front of the Rijksmuseum. It’s comical, but also just dangerous.
Any other plans with the book? A sequel? A photo exhibit?
The Dutch version of the book, De Fietsrepubliek, has an excellent photo section unlike the English version. I’m planning to extend the gallery into a book on its own. Now the website is also up and running, and I also offer private tours based on the book. And I’m working on a guide book for cycling tourists that will be out next year.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
A while ago, I started collecting all these loose, often broken bike parts from all over the city. In no time at all, I had almost every piece I needed for a whole bike. I wanted to put all the pieces together, but then I realized: a bike made from broken parts is just a broken bike. So I threw them all away.
For more information about Pete Jordan, his tours, and In The City of Bikes, head to www.cityofbikes.com
Watch out for this gun show! And the pink fenders! I’m totally digging this guy’s style. Just heading home from the gym with his tight tee, bright Nikes, and an old, scratched, pink ladies bike. Typical.
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.
With all this rain, I’m already reminiscing the lovely sunshine we had only a few days ago. People were out and about, laughing with friends, and drinking beers on the terraces. And of course, riding their bikes too.
Is the summer really over now? Do we have anymore 2o-degree days left? Until then, reminisce with me…
Please join me for a cycle on a sunny day in August along the river Amstel.
Did you see the Pride parade on the canals this Saturday? Those boats were incredible! In between the fabulous drag shows, feathered boas, winged costumes, glitter and glam–some people managed to keep their pants on this weekend at Amsterdam Pride. And when they did, it was nothing but pink!