Happy Carnival to all you cyclists out there! xoxo Superwoman
In this case, the title really says it all.. Thanks Corentin, for this cool pic. Well spotted !
The ‘Fietsersbond’ is the Dutch cyclist organisation. Yes, even in a country where bikes rule the streets, you need an organisation that makes sure that cycling is safe for everyone and stays the preferred mode of transport. Because, imagine what would happen if the Dutch would stop cycling and all get into a car or use public transport… that would mean the whole historic city of Amsterdam, with its narrow streets and bridges, would turn into one big traffic jam!
That is why I am a proud member of the Fietserbond and I think all cycling Amsterdammers should be.
The Fietsersbond does a lot of things like:
- They lobby for safer cycling conditions; like sharing bike lanes with scooters, lighten up cycling lanes that are too dark at night and change unsafe cycling paths or junctions
- They started a bike school, for young people, elderly or immigrants who want to learn how to cycle
- On their website you can post your cycling problems; dangerous junctions, potholes, a lack of bike parking space etc.
- They have a very user friendly route planner for cycling routes in the Netherlands
In Amsterdam the lobby against sharing the bike lanes with scooters has been very strong, I think that all Amsterdammers on bikes agree that it doesn’t feel safe to share the lane with the much faster riding scooters. Other important issues that the Fietsersbond lobbies for are bike parking spaces and seperated cycling lanes.
I also enjoy being a member of the Fietsersbond because of their cool magazine ‘Vogelvrije fietser’ (free-as-a-bird cyclist) and the interesting facts on their website.
Did you for example know that in the Netherlands:
- 50% of the people go by bike tot heir school or university?
- 25% of the people cycle to work
- there are 18 million bicycles (The Netherlands has got ca. 13,5 million inhabitants older than 4 and they own in average 1,3 bike per person)
- most people cycle between 15 and 18 kilomteres per hour (most people don’t see cycling as a sport, but just as a faster version of walking)
- it rains quite a bit, 6,5% of the time it is raining, but that doesn’t keep us from cycling
Are you a Dutchie? Do you like cycling? For only 2,17 euro a month you can be a member of this cool organisation!
Visit the website of the fietsersbond
Mister Cycle Chic, a.k.a. Mikael Colville-Andersen, visits our beloved city quite regularly. Last month he was here with his kids and also they noticed how many similarities Amsterdam and Copenhagen have. So probably seeing Amsterdam through Copenhagen eyes isn’t much different to how we see it ourselves.
In the coming months we will posts some pictures of Mikael Colville-Andersen of Amsterdam cyclists. Today, some family cycling pictures:
So.. it’s already so far: we are 2 years old! Thanks all for following and supporting us.. Here are some of our most popular posts of this second year:
Happy Friday! by Else
One of our great cyclist of the month, by Meredith
Back to the 80′s taken by David, and spotted by Aude
It’s a match by Meredith
Two people one bike by joni
Suits on bike by Meredith
And to end up, our musical post: summer in the city by Aude..
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:
Remember Else’s project I bike ABC in Buenos Aires? Well this is the result: our pictures printed in huge and hanging in the ‘El Rosedal’ park of BA..
Copenhagen Cycle Chic is also part of the exhibition with some nice pictures:
On this warm summer night in August – with the winter closing in we are in need of some sunny shots – these two ladies turned a lot of heads on their way to their friday night activities. Very late that night I bumped into them at a sweaty dubstep party – still looking classy. Happy Friday, everybody!
Over a year ago Joni and I sat in the train to visit our friend and former Cycle Chic member Milou in Berlin. About two weeks later I would leave for Buenos Aires and we were talking about the Netherlands Institute Buenos Aires (NIBA), with whose initiator, Silvia Rottenberg, I just got in touch. The institute was planning some projects with which to take part in the tandem Amsterdam Buenos Aires 2013, initiated by the Dutch Embassy. This tandem was organized to stimulate scientific and cultural exchange between the two countries – exactly the mission of the NIBA. Joni and I immediately came up with the brilliant plan to do a project on cycling. How much more Dutch can it get? It’s the Dutch ‘export-product’ and as Buenos Aires was developing to become a bicycle friendly city, this field of Dutch expertise could really contribute. And besides, this would be the way for Cycle Chic to conquer the world.
Silvia and the NIBA were just as excited and so we set it up. It started out with the plan of an exhibition with photographs of Amsterdam Cycle Chic and slowly grew out to be a much more large-scaled project. Also by examining the status of the bicycle culture in Buenos Aires, we realised a project with an emphasis on the sharing of expertise between the countries could be very interesting. We talked with almost anyone who has anything to do with cycling and became close with the City of Buenos Aires and the department of transport and mobility.
Ultimate Dutch/Argentine interchange: Maxima on wheels
The status of cycling in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is in the midst of a bicycle revolution. Since about ten years the use of the bicycle has increased, but obviously in a city dominated by motorized vehicles the car is still king of the road. Before, the bicycle was mainly used for delivery service, but it’s now a more common means of transport. Nonetheless many people only take out their bicycles on Sunday to cycle rounds in the park (wearing helmets and other protection gear..). But the City and many bicycle fans are trying to change this, and are proactively stimulating the use of bicycles as a daily means of transport. The City set up a very successful bicycle sharing program, offers discount on bicycles and organizes bicycle festivals to promote cycling. Besides that they are working hard on improving the infrastructure for cyclists, and by the end of this year Buenos Aires will have about 100 kms of bicycle lanes. Nonetheless the bicycle lanes are in very bad condition, there is no parking space, the bicycles are of bad quality and many other road users don’t respect cyclists. So there’s a lot to be done, and with this project we wanted to hitch into these urgent issues. We decided to set up expert meetings and put together Dutch and Argentine experts to talk about the different subjects.
The project continues
In the meanwhile Denmark joined us; the Danish Embassy also wanted to do a project on cycling and the Danes are obviously experts on the subject as well. This meant more knowledge, more fun and an even bigger project. So to the Dutch photos and experts the Danes added their own, and then the project as it is currently known came into existence: I bike ABC (Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen).
Though the Dutch and Danish Embassy supported the project, and many others like the City of Buenos Aires contributed in crucial ways, finances weren’t covered by far and we’ve been hunting for sponsors for months on end. We had to postpone the project several times. But in the end we found the international company Shimano willing to support the project, and now finally, after more than a year, the project has its kick off this weekend.
I bike ABC
The project consists of several parts. This weekend I bike ABC will have a stand at Shimano Fest, with information available about cycling in the Netherlands and Denmark, and with the ambassadors of both countries participating in a bicycle tour. Both will be interviewed on cycling on the main stage, which will be broadcast on television.
At the end of October the Dutch and Danish experts will arrive. During three days they will take part in intensive result driven expert meetings, which are shaped around several subjects. They will discuss, together with Argentine experts, issues of infrastructure, parking space, bicycle design, bicycle culture, etc. And it will not only be talking; the City of Buenos Aires has given a couple of case studies on which the experts will focus. The idea is to enter into a long-lasting collaboration between the experts and cities, and really focus on solutions and results.
In the same weekend the expert meetings take place, on the 1st of November, the Cycle Chic exhibition will open in Museo de la Ciudad, in the City Museum of Buenos Aires. Forty pictures of Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Amsterdam Cycle Chic will be arranged in different themes, and several bicycles, like a real Dutch Vanmoof bicycle will be shown. Besides an inside exhibition the Cycle Chic photos, and archival photos of both cities (like the famous picture below of Ed van der Elsken), will be shown on large format in different parks in the city. A lot of visibility! With these pictures we hope to show how normal and daily cycling is, and want to amaze passers-by with the beautiful Cycle Chic photos.
That is not the Vanmoof bicycle by the way, it’s a very old one found in the City Museum of Buenos Aires.. You can follow the project on the Facebook page of I bike ABC, and pictures of the inside and outside exhibition will follow soon!
About a month ago I moved to my new home in the North of Amsterdam. Growing up in the city centre, the north – even though Amsterdam is as small as it gets – feels like moving to another city. Why? Mainly because the north of town is separated from the city centre by the ‘IJ’ river (it’s actually a lake and originally a bay, but most of all it’s a lot of water). Moving to ‘Noord’ has proven the distance to be peanuts, the ferry takes you to the the epicenter of Amsterdam in only a few minutes – a service provided for free, as you have to make a big detour cycling to the nearest bridge.
For many Amsterdam citizens Noord used to be where to go only for underground house parties, roaming the big flee market or visiting your great-aunt Babs or Miep – now the area is very ‘up and coming’. With the city centre slowly turning into an open air museum, the north of town appeals as a more spacious and less crowded area. A lot of creative and alternative initiatives are settling on ‘the other side’ and many cafes and restaurants in industrial settings give Noord a fresh and lively character. Check out I love Noord to see what’s up.
So having to take the ferry isn’t that bad at all. It gives you a moment to catch your breath, let the wind blow through your hair, enjoy the beautiful skies, and check out all the nice cyclist commuters. Aude made a cool video where you can see a few cyclists getting on the ferry just in time, and made a post about Amsterdam North before, remember? The snapshots in this post give you an impression of cyclists taking the ferry from before sunrise until after sunset.
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
One great thing about Amsterdam cycling is hopping on the back of a friend’s bike, or giving someone else a ride. (In other countries, it’s illegal!) The first time I gave someone a ride, I almost fell on my face and broke my friend’s legs. How do you all make it look so easy?!
So when it comes to hitchin’ a ride, who does it better: boys or girls?
These two gentlemen caught my lens during rush hour. Cycling, hurrying, chatting and looking stylish at the same time. Good job.
Last week we presented to you photographer Julie Hrudova. She has made an Amsterdam Street Diary with her pictures. We show you a selection of her pictures, and you might not be surprised that we just chose pictures with bikes in them.
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.
We have received many nice pictures from all over the world on flickr, Facebook and by email for the Music & Bikes competition. This morning Anton, the inventor of the Hotelfietsbel, Aude and I have chosen the two winners of ‘the coolest bell in Amsterdam’, the Hotelfietsbel. It has been a difficult decision, but we finally came to an agreement that the winnning pictures are:
So José ‘Bilobicles bag’ from Chile and Marc from Amsterdamize please send your addres to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can send you the bell!
But there have been many other beautiful entries. See a selection of them below or in our Flickr Group.
People in cities all over the world cycle for a different reason; because of the exercise, because it looks cool, or just because cycling is the quickest way to navigate through their cities. Australian architecture professor Steven Fleming studied cycle culture in different cities and presented his results in the book ‘Cycle Space’. In this book Fleming explores ways to make better cities by connecting cycling, architecture, design and urban planning. One of the cities Fleming discusses is Amsterdam.
Bicycle friendly cities are better cities
In ‘Cycle Space’ Fleming studied the aspects that make cycling attractive to people. Because, he argues, understanding why people are choosing bikes is key for discovering the full potential of the bike as a transformative force in the design of cities. And, on the basis of that knowledge you can build better cities, not only better for cyclists, but for everyone: because more bikes in a city will reduce emissions, commute times, ill-health and sprawl.
‘Cycle Space’ is a central concept in Fleming’s book. The idea is that each cyclist develops a cycle-space map of their city in their mind. This map of the city is different than a car driver’s map. The perception of distance is different, cyclists look at streets in a different way and small alleys that you might not even know as a car driver can be the central streets in a cyclist’s mind. By looking at all those different cycle-space maps, and realizing what makes a city attractive for cyclists, you can build a more bike-friendly city.
Dutch bike boom in oil crisis
In the introduction of his book Fleming discusses how the Dutch cycling culture originated in the oil crisis of the 1970s and why it took the Dutch so little time to build a great bicycle infrastructure while it is taking so long in other cities: “Pro-bike politicians in non-cycling nations face a dilemma that did not face Dutch politicians back in the 1970s. Leaders in countries like mine represent voters that weren’t alive last time cycling was mainstream, in the 1940s and early 1950. Such constituencies would sooner bring the Mandatory Vegetarianism Party to power than an administration promising to reduce space for driving and parking for the sake of something so hard to imagine as mass bicycle transport. By contrast, voters in the Netherlands in the late 1970s had a fresh memory of interwar cycling, barely affected by private car ownership.” The very well-developed bike infrastructure in the Netherlands is according to Fleming the main reason for the high percentage of cyclists in Dutch cities.
Amsterdam: Cycle because it is practical
The citizens of Amsterdam cycle because it is practical. It is just the quickest and easiest way to get around. Everybody does it, no matter what age or sex you are and how much money you earn. Fleming links the popularity of cycling to the population’s Calvinist roots. Though the number of people going to church in Amsterdam has become very low in the past decades, the stoic pride resulting from the Calvinist tradition, is still very present in Dutch society and Dutch bicyle culture clearly reflects that tradition. Fleming: “Counting oneself among the Netherland’s elite requires cycling to work in all weather.”
If you want to learn more about global bicycle cultures and about how seeing cities through a lens of the bicycle could make cities a better place? Then Cycle Space certainly is a book for you!
Nice girl cycling and chilling with her music under the last sunbeams in the Kinkerstraat, on the west side of Amsterdam.
It can be challenging to catch the picture-perfect moment when someone is flying past you on a bike. Most people don’t take notice. Others shy away. This guy made it easy for me! What a mischievous smile, too. Love it.
Next time you’re on your bike, take a moment to look around–catch someone’s eye, and maybe even smile. Who knows, maybe they’ll smile back!
Added benefit of cycling everyday: nice legs. Pairs perfectly with super short shorts, black tights, and studded booties.
Show it off ladies!
Sometimes it’s so nice just take a joy ride–especially at this time of the year when it’s almost winter. But not quite, right? Just enough sun out there to warrant some ultra blue Ray Bans.
It is now a year ago that I (Aude) travelled through Asia with my husband for more than 4 months! At the time, I was already taking pictures of bicycles for the blog of our friend Philip: Dutch in Dublin.
BIKASIA is a compilation of images showing that bikes are very popular all over Asia: from India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia to China! But the best thing is that they are all cycling chic!
The cycle chic team has been travelling a lot in Europa during the summer. Lately Aude and her sister were invited by their mum to go to pAris! Of course they rented a velib’ to move around. And they met many locals on a velib’ too. Here you can see a girl on high heels…
Guys chatting on Pompidou square…
Some youngsters heading for a party…
Cycling is getting more and more popular here so many people have their own 2 wheels. Look at these:
Frenchy on a race bike…
Dude on lady’s bike…
Girl on a city bike with basket…
The trio Aude-sister-mum have been cycling through the whole of pAris. They came to see the exhibition “Panorama” from Gerhard Richter on the top floor of centre Pompidou. Dedicated to modern and contemporary art, le centre Pompidou is a place you can’t miss if you are interested in art. This painting called “le vélo” is from Alain Séchas, it is part of the permanent collection of the Museum.