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!
Now Pete gave Amsterdam Cycle Chic a signed copy of the book that we can give away!
How do you win? Send us by mail, post on our Facebook page or in our Flickr group a picture of your own ‘history of cycling’. So for example a picture of yourself as a baby on the back of your dads bike, your mother in a hippy dress on a Dutch bike or a picture of your home town full of cyclists a few decades ago.
The picture of Aude’s husband Willem that she posted a few weeks ago is the perfect example. Join the competition and win!
Anyone up for short Dutch lesson? I already told you at the time what was an “Opa“. Now let’s talk about the “Oma”: it is the grandma. You may think I love old people, and I do. But I am not the one who invented the expression “Omafiets”. “Fiets” means bike in Dutch so “Omafiets” is a grandma bike. And trust me the Omafiets is the fancy old classic that most of people in Amsterdam are riding on.
Born in Afganistan in the 80’s, Massy and his family moved to the Netherlands more than 20 years ago. As a child he discovered the Dutch culture, he learned to cycle straight away and felt in love with this way of moving around. He likes the feeling of being independent on his bike, to be free to go everywhere and to breathe the fresh air.. He never went back to Afghanistan but he is pretty sure the bicycle is not as popular as it is here !
Massy is living in Utrecht. A few months ago, a friend inspired him to start a new business. His friend was selling ice creams on his delivery bike.
He couldn’t stop thinking this idea was very good and would be much appreciated by all the Amsterdammers !
So he just started with one of his mates a new company on wheels : bikeexpress.nl (site still under construction)
They have 2 ice cream delivery bikes, one is mostly cycling in Amsterdam North, while the other one goes around Amsterdam East. They offer our most beloved flavors : vanilla (in pole position !) strawberry and chocolate, or pistache, or lemon, etc
Massy loves selling ice creams. The reason is very simple: he is happy to make people smile. It is related to what makes him happy in life : « to help people in every way I can help ». He is already doing so since a long time as he has worked many years for Amnesty International and other NGOs. He also initiated this nice project ofoundation.nl. Massy’s dream is « to have a positive influence in the development of the human kind ».
I was happy to meet Massy and to taste his delicious ice creams while enjoying the Oosterpark with my little baby.
Let’s see what he will offer us in the winter : broodjes, soup ?
I just loved these blues-brother-like guys, appearing on the borders of the Amstel river. It made me wonder, though: are they just colleagues on their way to have a drink or is this a smart dressed entrepreneur, taking his client out for lunch to one of the nicer restaurants on the borders of the Amstel. In any case, you must have a good deal of self-confidence to sit on the front seat of a bike like this, because a clumsy fall of the bike in front of a fully occupied terrace does not really match with this cool image!
In one week we had many festivities in Amsterdam; on the 30th of April Queensday and the coronation of the new king; on the 4th of May the Remembrance of the Death at Dam square and on the 5th of May both Liberation Day and the championship celebrations of Amsterdam’s football club Ajax.
After all these celebrations, with many people in the streets from all over the world, we are now taking it easy. Just enjoying the city and reliving about all the beautiful festivities.
As you probably have heard; we have a new king! On Tuesday the ceremony of the abdication and the coronation (without a crown though) took place in Amsterdam. Prince Willem-Alexander (also known as ‘Prins Pils = Prince Pilsener’) is now king Willem-Alexander and his Argentinian born wife, Máxima, is Queen Máxima.
For Amsterdam Cycle Chic the first question that arose was of course; how cycle chic are the new king and queen? As a royal couple you usually are very chic, but do they also cycle chic? We found the following pictures of the King and Queen on bikes. What do you think? Quite cycle chic eh?!
What a weekend it’s been. The sun is shining, people are happy and out on their bikes all the day long. This is the time of year when I just can’t get enough of this city. And Queen’s Day has yet to come! Let’s hope this wonderful weather keeps up for Tuesday.
Let me invite you to Amsterdam, to have a look out of my window. Every minute at least one chic cyclist is passing by. Having a Cycle Chic blog in Amsterdam is therefore not too difficult, almost any cyclist is a chic cyclist.
Please enjoy, ten minutes hanging out of an Amsterdam window:
Hope you enjoyed your ten minutes in Amsterdam. Don’t you love the cyclists, the sun and the cyclists’ shadows on the pavement? Please come again soon!
In Amsterdam people of all ages cycle. Last week we saw ladies with their babies on bikes, we have seen young kids cycling and trendy students. This week we show you chic cyclists with grey hair. Aren’t they stylish and fit? I guess cycling keeps you young!
How do I know she is an art student? Easy: the black tube she wears is used to carry her drawings. I wish I could see her work! She was cycling in West but I would not be surprised if she studies at the opposite side of Amsterdam, at the famous art school the Rietveld Academie.
Aude is right! More fur is just what doctor ordered for these chilly winter days. I’m seeing so much fur around the city, aren’t you? Fur hoods, fur hats, fur scarves, fur mitts, fur boots–it’s everywhere! But it’s best worn by bike.
This young man is pretty styled out with his red hot wheels, red bicycle chain and even red lock! If you look carefully, you can see he is carrying a Vans shopping bag. This reminds me of the cool guy I photographed a few months ago. As you can see below, he wore red Vans and was cycling on a white fixies.
So, Fixies and Vans seem to be the perfect match, right?
What happened to all the snow?! I was just getting used to the slip n’ slide riding on the snowy streets. Nevertheless, the terrible wind and rain didn’t stop any Amsterdammers today. It’s almost like nothing can stop these people from riding their bikes!
Now they have released a new bicycle interview, with Alexander Klopping (a tech freak and gadget expert, known from the popular tv show ‘De Wereld Draait Door‘) and Ernst-Jan Pfauth (a Dutch journalist and blogger, known best for his columns on technology in nrc.next).
We encourage you to join Alexander and Ernst Jan on their Sunday cycle through Amsterdam, to see how they met via Twitter, to hear them argue about the demise (or not) of traditional journalism, and to learn some cool Dutch cycling tricks.
The mission of ‘Cycling With…’
“Today’s cities face big problems: polluted air, obese citizens, and social exclusion. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: the bicycle. ‘Cycling With…’ believes that by sharing stories of inspiring people on bikes, we can encourage cities to take pro-cycling action. So we have embarked on a mission to film 100 ‘Cycling with… documentaries’. And to show the world how gloriously easy, fun and sexy a bike ride can be.”
If you want to help, please sign up for their newsletter now.
- Visit the ‘Cycling With…’ blog for more videos
It’s never too late to go out there on your bike and get back home with the last tree from the very friendly Californian Christmas-tree-man located on Marie Heinekenplein.
Season greetings, the ACC Team.
As announced for our birthday, we have picked randomly 3 people who shared their favorite picture with us…And the winners of the cute saddle covers are:
Please send your addres to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can send you the saddle cover.
We are taking this opportunity to thank you all for your support and encouraging feedback,
we loved it!
Amsterdam cycle chicly yours,
Joni, Else, Meredith and Aude.
In decades the design of the most popular bike in the Netherlands has hardly changed. The Dutch love the simplicity, the upright position and the everlasting steel frame of their bikes. Now that cycling becomes more popular in other countries, the Dutch omafiets and opafiets gains popularity all over the world. In the book ´De Nederlandse fiets-The Dutch Bike´ design critic Zahid Sardar describes the history of the traditional Dutch bike and looks at the new trendy versions of the bike by Dutch designers. A great and easy to read book about Dutch cycling culture and design.
Origin of the Dutch bike
Did you know that the design of the ‘Dutch bike’ actually isn’t Dutch? The Dutch got the design from the French vélocipède and the English Rover bike. At the end of the 19th century bicycle production increased and Dutch brands like Burgers, Fongers and Union where getting bigger and bigger. The import of cheap steel from the US and the fast industrialisation in Europe turned the bicycle from a product for the elite into a product for huge parts of the Dutch population. Many women cycled too and the design of the bike was adapted to women with long dresses cycling (‘the looped frame’: the omafiets).
Dutch design: new trendy bikes
The traditional omafiets and opafiets might be the most common in the Netherlands, but there are also many new designs on the market. It becomes more and more trendy to have a cool and special bike. So Dutch designers started to make new bikes, often based on the traditional design, experimenting with materials, position and colours. Popular ones at the moment are amongst others the urban Vanmoof bikes, the wooden Bough Bikes and Urban Arrow, an electric-assist cargo bike.
- Order a copy of the book The Dutch Bike at Nai Publishers
Today our blog is 1 year old! Let’s celebrate it and choose the best picture of the year…all 4 of us (Joni, Else, Meredith and Aude) picked our 2 favorite pictures. Now it is your turn to choose your favorite one among our selection and enter the contest:
Have you made your choice? Please let us know (comment below) or on facebook.
You may be the lucky one winning this saddle cover! There are 3 saddle covers to win, we will pick randomly 3 people who shared their choice with us..so don’t miss it, you have until Friday 21st december!
Yesterday night, the national institute for weather issued a “code orange”. This doesn’t mean the celebration of a winter Queensday (although it would be fun!) but it is an extreme weather warning. So in other words: it’s gonna snow big time. “If possible stay home” said the weather man, and so did I! These pictures were thus taken from my balcony with a cup of hot chocolate waiting for me on my desk.. Respect to all the snow-cyclists out there!
I was a lucky girl this morning. I woke up to one of those Dutch organs playing the Sinterklaasje song–at 8 o’clock in the morning. I stumbled over to my balcony only to learn that Sint was coming! I had the best view, too. A million small children lined the alleyway and were waiting for Sint. He finally came, escorted by cycling Zwarte Pieten and he himself was on a motorbike! Maybe the white horse was ill?
Are you celebrating Sinterklaas tonight? I have my poem ready and the zuurkool is on the stove!
Last weekend I took a ride through Amsterdam with Dr. Steven Fleming, an academic, theorist, and urban planning philosopher with a knack for cycling. His recent book Cycle Space, like his blog and twitter feed, closely inspects the relationship between architecture and cycling. He was in town for the (wildly successful) Rotterdam Urban Bike Night, hosted by the NAI.
We had a great ride from the Station to Java Eiland, to Brouwerij ‘t IJ, then around Oost, and wound up on Utrechtsestraat–at my favorite herring stand. The whole time we talked about bikes and the future of cities.
My favorite quote from him went something like this, and say it with a really thick Australian accent: “Cycling here is like a hand-me-down blanket from your Oma–it’s ancient, but you love it and you can never get rid of it!”