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 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:
Frederiksplein, here in Amsterdam. It’s 14h50. It is a day like any others. What is happening here? Nothing special, just some Amsterdammers – on bike of course – gathering at the exit of a school, the montessori school Asvo.
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” !
The Dutch take picnicking to a whole new level. Once the sun comes out, it’s like entire kitchens are brought to the park! And the best way to get to the park is of course by bike! The Vondelpark was packed with picnickers this weekend. Where were you picnicking this weekend?
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!
Yesterday was a whirlwind of parties all over the city and what was the best way to get there? By bike of course. How did you flaunt your flair on your bike? Here are six ways some Amsterdammers showed their orange pride.
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!
Imagine: you are with two people, you have one bike, and you want to go to a friend’s birthday party. What would you do? You could of course leave the bike and go walking, go by car or take a tram. But you can also be inspired by these Amsterdammers and go together on one bike.
We show you five different ways to share a bike (also called doubling). No special seats or cargo bikes needed!
Sitting on the back carrier is the most common way to cycle together. Men normally sit with one leg at each side
This is the version that women like best.
A very popular way amongst Amsterdams youth. (Don’t try this with a heavy person).
For a good view. Like this son on the back of his fathers bike.
Not a very clear picture. They went too fast and I don’t see this way very often. We actually do not know why you would do this. Maybe when the person cycling doesn’t smell too good, or you prefer looking at the streets instead of looking at a back?
There are a lot of other ways to cycle together on one bike (sit on the crossbar, on the handlebars, or on the saddle). Take a look at more pics in this Cycle Chic Republic post.
Now, after being inspired by these cyclists from Amsterdam would you take a bike together?
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.
Now there’s a chic cyclist-in-training!
I’ve seen tons of adorable kids on or with their sleds these past few days and I keep thinking…where are they going? If you haven’t noticed, this city is really flat. Like really flat. Where are the hills for sledding?!
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!
‘God created the world, and the Dutch created the Netherlands’, that’s what people sometimes say about our country. And indeed, it is quite difficult to find parts of the Netherlands untouched by men. But, this weekend I enjoyed the beauty of Dutch nature in national park ‘De Hoge Veluwe’. The natural beauty was amazing. The play between rain and sun caused dramatic skies, deers and hares walked through the forests and the wide heather sometimes made me think of the African savanna. But, the Dutch couldn’t help touching also this part of nature. A family built a museum in the park with famous pieces of Van Gogh, Picasso and Mondriaan. And through the park a network of cycle lanes was created to cycle around on the free white bikes that are all around the park. The Dutch just can’t help it; they ‘have’ to touch nature to make every part of the country bicycle friendly…
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
One thing the Dutch love to talk about is the weather. I hear these conversations all day long. Such a lovely time of year in this city. The leaves of course are the highlight. All the oranges and yellows. Bring your layers though and get out your gloves: this is the time of year the weather can’t decide on anything.
I joined a local yoga studio and in one of the classes, the instructor spoke about the fall; that it’s a time to reflect inward and, like the trees, change your inner color, express yourself in a different way, and maybe think about shedding something you’ve been holding on to for a while. I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit because I can’t seem to pin something down. What could I let go of? Maybe I should be vegan again. Become a tea drinker. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just think about it more and get back to you.
For now, I just looooove riding my bike in this city…
I think this photo truly captures the strong, independent, and do-it-all mentality of Dutch women. Totally fantastic. You can give a man a ride on the back of your bike, purse on arm, and sport your leopard gloves, too.
It’s not easy giving a ride — and it takes practice. I completely fell over the first time I tried to give a ride. Ended up just sitting on the back like this guy. I’ll keep trying though!
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
This weekend we went to the beautiful city of Groningen. Groningen is in the north of the Netherlands. It has an old and famous university, a cool modern art museum ‘the Groninger Museum‘ an old city centre and as every Dutch city; it is full of bikes and everybody of all ages cycles.
Sunday it was ‘Open Monuments Day‘, the perfect day to discover buildings that you pass every day on your bike but you never see from the inside. One of the buildings we visited was the ‘Muiderpoort‘, an old gate and former entrance to the city where people had to pay toll. Nowadays it is the office of the Association of Dutch Tax Advisors. From the top of the gate we had a nice view over the area and over the cyclists passing by on a exceptionally warm September day.
Milou, one of the Amsterdam Cycle Chic team members, moved to Berlin a few months ago. So Else and Joni of Amsterdam Cycle Chic decided to visit her there.
We loved it! And in between enjoying one of the many terraces, parks and museums, we spotted cyclists, quite a lot of cyclists, and many of them in cool Berlin style!
Check out these elegant ladies on their pink bicycles…
Those pictures were taken yesterday, at a beautiful Dutch wedding of friends where the groom had the great idea to cycle to the church with his family and best friends..Last minutes of ‘single-life’ on 2 wheels, how cool!
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…