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.
Japanese painting is one of the oldest and most highly refined arts, encompassing a wide variety of genres and styles. This idyllic scene, shot at the heart of Amsterdam ( in the Vondelpark) took me away to ancient Japan for a couple of seconds: Geisha-style knotted hair, a touch of red on the lips, and …isn’t that the shadow of a cherry blossom tree?
As in most of Europe, Amsterdam is still wearing a white blanket. It is so cold that nobody wants to go out apart for real emergencies: empty fridge alert!