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Cyclist of the month… Taco, founder VANMOOF bikes

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.

VANMOOF
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.”
taco founder and CEO of Vanmoof Dutch bike company

Amsterdam love
“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’.”
taco founder and CEO of Vanmoof Dutch bike company

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!

Old school styling

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.

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Industrial_Skull_detail

Industrial_copper

BladeRunner

Skull_detail

By Mel

Holland! Holland!

Since the fabulous match of last Friday (5-1 against Spain), the orange fever is higher than ever! So, one hour before their next match against Australia, Dutchies from all ages are going wild again! This is what Amsterdam looks like today..

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holland0
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holland9
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holland4
holland5
holland6
holland11
somtimes just a touch
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but the spirit is there
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cycling..
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..or sitting behind on a amsterdam’s rickshaw!
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Reportage by Aude

The daily grind

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..

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DailyGrind

Amsterdam_Rain

Bakfiets_crossing

Bridge_commute

By Mel.

Hop hop hop

How to get ready for a ride with your kid?

hop1 by aude
Lift her

hop2 by aude
Sit her

hop3 by aude
And attach her!

by Aude

A dog’s 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.

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Yawning_Happy_doggy

Dog in Basket patting

By Mel

Cycling for all ages

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.

Aantal fietsritten per persoon per dag verdeeld naar leeftijd. Bron: MON 2007

bike rides per person per day

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….

Lady cycling in Amsterdam #Amsterdam #dutchbike #coolshoes #dutch #women #greyhair #bikeams #cyclechic #cycling #bicycle

Lady cycling in Amsterdam

Husband and wife cycling in Amsterdam
Two boys cycling in Amsterdam
Cycling home from school #girlonbike #Amsterdam #cycling
Young guy cycling in Amsterdam
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#Amsterdam #cycling #man

Instamonth: May’s top 10 Instagram pictures

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!

Recycled Fixed, the movie!

Recycled Fixed – 2nd Hand Bikes from tiago rosado on Vimeo.

Tiago Rosado realized this cool film with badseedfilms
Vitor is a Portuguese bike fanatic who owns and runs Recycled Bicycles here in Amsterdam. Meredith already made Vitor one of our cyclist of the month on our blog, have a look!

Riding with style

Loving the VANMOOF bike.

Riding with style

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