Amsterdammers are loving their strappy sandals these days. It’s perfect weather for them: sunny skies and warm. Let the fresh air run through those toes!
And wow, the skies this weekend were hot, hot, hot! This tropical weather come from out of nowhere–but I’ll take it. And top it with some short shorts, dresses, and skirts. The shorter the better these days!
Despite the heat and humidity, Amsterdammers were still on their bikes, showing off their stems–and of course full of style!
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..
The American colours flew high and proud on this warm summers night in Amsterdam.
Friday evening brought together sunshine, bbq-ing, some friends and soccer (it is world cup season after all) in Amsterdam. I bumped into the friendly guys at Hygge Life (pronounced Hoo-ga life) who cycled their pimped up poffertje bak-fiets to the local park full of their spiffy cooking gear and delicious gourmet ingredients – and were ready to serve all the peckish patrons in the park. You can turn a bicycle into a thriving business it seems!
Alex and her partner Koen, both itty-bitty-pancake-poffertje masterchefs are warming up their gas cookers and Hygge bus engine for a 3 month road trip around Europe enjoying the summertime and making poffertjes for locals and holidayers along the way. A trip of a lifetime!
For all you readers around Spain and France..keep your eye out for these delicious little pancakes!
..good luck guys!
The weather is warming up in Amsterdam and you can smell the sweet scent of summer in the air! This means spending more time outside, taking your royal steed (or any type of wheels such as skateboards, rollerskates and rollerblades) and zooming around parks with friends. You can simply laze about and enjoy a picnic until the sun is gone (which for this time of year is as late as 11pm).
My favourite Park in Amsterdam is Vondel Park. It’s located right in the centre of the city therefore super accessible by bike. It has pretty lakes, lots of space for cycling, chilled out cafes, inspiring tracks to run off your stroopwafels, a zillion entrances and areas for all sorts of general meandering.
So pack that bike crate full of snacks, your favourite bottle, some sunscreen.. and of course your favourite people to share in the sunshine. Happy Summer!
Taco grew up in the east of the Netherlands, but while visiting his aunt in Amsterdam as a child he immediately fell in love with the city. Taco loves the beauty of the city centre with its canals but most of all he likes the city’s cycling culture. That’s why he became bike entrepreneur and founded the Dutch bike company VANMOOF. VANMOOF’s mission is to create the perfect urban bike and convince people all around the world to travel by bike instead of by car.
In 2009 Taco and his brother Ties founded VANMOOF. Now, five years later, you see their bikes a lot in Amsterdam’s streets and they are sold in more than 30 countries around the world. Taco: “We want to be more than just a bike brand. We want to be a movement. A movement for change. The ’MOOF’ part in our name comes from the word movement. VAN we just added to give it some Dutch flavour. Our mission is to get more cyclists on the streets in inner cities globally. Because more than half of the world’s population lives in city centres, there is an increasingly heavy burden on traditional means of inner city transport. The bike is the solution for inner city mobility. At VANMOOF we pursue only one goal: help the ambitious city dweller worldwide move around town fast, confident and in style.”
“My love for Amsterdam started very young. I think I was only 7 years old when visited Amsterdam for the first time, to sleep over at my auntie’s place. She lived in the city centre, in a neighbourhood that was still a bit rough. But I loved it. And I still do. I love the hustle and bustle on the streets, the beauty of the canals and I like its relatively small size. It is a perfect city to go for a walk (and a bike ride of course!).”
‘City council, stand up for bikes!’
“Amsterdam is the cycling capital of the world, but we have to be careful not to lose our great cycling culture. At the moment it is not changing for the better. That is why the city council should really make a statement and stand up for bikes.” The main problems according to Taco are the lack of space for the cyclists and bike theft: “There are often too many cyclists sharing the bike lanes. The city council should give them more space by taking space from the cars. The historic city centre should be car free.”
The war against bike theft
Another problem is bike theft: “Many people in Amsterdam use cheap bikes, they are afraid a nice bike would get stolen. Because they don’t care about their bikes and because their bikes are of bad quality, many bikes are left on the streets in the bike parking spaces. If bike theft would be less, then people would buy a better bike, a bike they would care about and that they can use for many years. This would reduce of lack of bike parking space. It would also be better for the environment; no throw-away bikes, but bikes that last for many years.” That is why VANMOOF is developing GPS and GSM integrated in their bikes. “All our electric bikes already have GPS and two of our bikes that were stolen in the US were found back through the GPS. We work with Vodafone and to make ‘find my bike’ as much used as ‘find my iphone’.”
Cycling in New York and London
“I cycled in many cities all over the world. My favourite city to cycle in is New York. Not many people realise how nice it is to cycle there. But it is flat, you can cycle through the whole of Manhattan, and of course enjoy Central Park by bike.” London is the worst city Taco cycled in: “I am simply scared to death when cycling in London. The fast driving cars are not used to cyclists and the sidewalks are so high, that you have nowhere to go when you feel an unsafe situation is coming up.”
Want to know more about VANMOOF? Check out their website!
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.
Getting to and from work is usually a bit of a bore in most cities. Crowded trains, noisy buses, traffic, pollution, pushing and shoving.
Living in Amsterdam and riding to work (and playing afterwards!) makes your journey, and day ahead much more enjoyable. You can almost guarantee your commute time each day – which for most people who travel by bike, is less than 20 minutes to the centre. I travel by bike and my work is only a few blocks away! Is it any wonder why the French are trying to pay their citizens to ride their bikes to work?
Here is a little snapshot into our bump and grind here in Amsterdam. Enjoy a day in the life..
We all love our pets and hate leaving them at home. In Amsterdam, being a dog is pretty cool. You get walked while your master rides next to you (finally those humans can keep up the pace!) or you can choose to sit and ride in style! This little ball of happiness was riding through the canals in his crate with a big smile, the wind in his face and just watching the world pass by.
In the Netherlands almost everyone cycles. Around 85% of the people owns a bike. Women cycle a bit more often than men and young people between 12 and 18 years old go for a few more rides than the rest. But the differences are small. See below a graph I found on the website of the Fietsersbond, the Dutch Cyclists’ Union, about the amount of bike rides people make per day, per age group.
Cycling gives you independence, you can go wherever you want, when you want and by yourself. This is important for everyone but especially for kids and for elderly. Besides being independent, by cycling they stay active and healthy. I think all around the world people should be able to cycle safely through their cities, no matter what your age is! It makes life so much happier….
Are you already following us on Instagram? You should, if you want to learn more about Amsterdam’s cycling culture and enjoy the diversity of cyclists and bikes in Amsterdam’s streets. Every month we will post the most liked Instagram shots here on our blog.
This is the top 10 of May:
1. Dog in crate
2. Mother and sons
3. Father and son
4. Eating an apple while cycling in the rain
5. Rainy day cycling
6. Bike parking Amsterdam central station
7. Flower pants
8. Google likes bikes
9. Mother with cargo bike and kids
10. Now that is Cycle Chic, sir!
Amsterdam is one of the most diverse bicycle cities in the world. Bikes of all shapes and sizes wind through the canals and cobblestoned streets each day. A rarity in this jungle of spokes and tyres is the Tandem bicycle, it’s always special seeing one. I mean who wouldn’t want double the pedal-power getting to your destination? Never leave your partner behind at that crossing again!
Mel traded her sunscreen for an umbrella when she moved from Sydney to Amsterdam. It was love at first sight! Mel works at Marcel Wanders, has a Dutch florist boyfriend and is now part of our team!
Why did you move to Amsterdam?
“It kinda all started with the bikes. That fateful day in May when I stepped out at Schiphol and placed my feet on the ground it was love. There and then. Wheels, blonde-coloured locks and the sounds of bells whizzed by me as I walked along busy Leidseplein, transfixed by the beautiful ornate shapes of the buildings that surrounded me…the winding canals and the verdant tufts of grass in every park – a sight living in the often drought-stricken Sydney that you’d sometimes take for granted.
60 minutes later, I decided to stay. So I quit my job, cancelled my return ticket home, survived on tuna and cookies and started accumulating my new wardrobe at Ij Hallen each month looking forward to my new life (in killer 50 cents pumps). Sometimes you just know.”
What do you do in your daily life?
“I spend my time working as a project manager at Marcel Wanders, being surround by inspiring design all day, Learning Dutch (ik ben Nederlands aan het leren), travelling, crafting, shooting and of course my favourite pastime, cycling around town and exploring”
What is your bike like?
It is a classic Amsterdam ‘Oma Fiets’ (Granny Bike). I bought it as a present to myself for landing my first job. I attached a vintage wooden crate from the flower markets and hand-tied loads of flowers (naturally). I often catch tourists sitting on her taking pictures! Flowers and bikes. Born to be together.
Why do you want to be a blogger at Amsterdam Cycle Chic?
“I shoot as much as I can – capturing how amazing this city is. As a foreigner I see things in such a fresh and optimistic light – the snow, the rain, the mode of daily transport, the people, the bars, the language and the truly unique way of living here.
I mean, really. Are you seeing what I’m seeing? They’re everywhere!
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…