Biking doesn’t always need to be a solo venture. So grab a pal and take them along with you on the back “baggage drager” style, mentor your little one or simply walk back from adventures side by side with your royal steed and best friend.
Amsterdam receives it fair share of precipitation throughout the year, which you get fairly used to the longer you live here. I mean the trade offs are well worth it (just quietly) with our winding canals, cobblestoned streets and unbeatable old world charm, I’m happy to don a fuzzy/soggy hair day now and then.
But us Amsterdammers can get through the last-minute always unpredictable showers pretty simply by a) shielding one’s hair with our hand, b) wrapping our cardigan on our heads or c) un-crumpling our plastic emergency poncho from our pockets whilst not falling over. Easy right?
However turning cycling in the rain into an artform is all about finding the right (stylish) raincoat, mastering the balance of steering whilst carrying your stylish (aerodynamic) umbrella is another thing altogether.
You can add that to my personal bucket list..
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..
End of day, start of a great evening..
There are over 850, 000 bikes in Amsterdam. With these numbers, you want to stand out from the crowd. Us local Amsterdammers do this in many ways – from our baskets and spray jobs (mostly DIY) through to colourful personalised stickers and bells. And just when you thought spokey dokeys were stuck in the 1980’s. No way! The Dutch love pimping their bikes.
Speaking of, if you’re in town on June 1, check out the Fiets Festival (site is in Dutch) happening at Waterlooplein in Amsterdam, where there will be food, cool tunes and a chance to pimp your own bike! Hope to see you there!
Mel traded her sunscreen for an umbrella when she moved from Sydney to Amsterdam. It was love at first sight! Mel works at Marcel Wanders, has a Dutch florist boyfriend and is now part of our team!
Why did you move to Amsterdam?
“It kinda all started with the bikes. That fateful day in May when I stepped out at Schiphol and placed my feet on the ground it was love. There and then. Wheels, blonde-coloured locks and the sounds of bells whizzed by me as I walked along busy Leidseplein, transfixed by the beautiful ornate shapes of the buildings that surrounded me…the winding canals and the verdant tufts of grass in every park – a sight living in the often drought-stricken Sydney that you’d sometimes take for granted.
60 minutes later, I decided to stay. So I quit my job, cancelled my return ticket home, survived on tuna and cookies and started accumulating my new wardrobe at Ij Hallen each month looking forward to my new life (in killer 50 cents pumps). Sometimes you just know.”
What do you do in your daily life?
“I spend my time working as a project manager at Marcel Wanders, being surround by inspiring design all day, Learning Dutch (ik ben Nederlands aan het leren), travelling, crafting, shooting and of course my favourite pastime, cycling around town and exploring”
What is your bike like?
It is a classic Amsterdam ‘Oma Fiets’ (Granny Bike). I bought it as a present to myself for landing my first job. I attached a vintage wooden crate from the flower markets and hand-tied loads of flowers (naturally). I often catch tourists sitting on her taking pictures! Flowers and bikes. Born to be together.
Why do you want to be a blogger at Amsterdam Cycle Chic?
“I shoot as much as I can – capturing how amazing this city is. As a foreigner I see things in such a fresh and optimistic light – the snow, the rain, the mode of daily transport, the people, the bars, the language and the truly unique way of living here.
I mean, really. Are you seeing what I’m seeing? They’re everywhere!
Loving this chick’s style. Black on gray on white, with the black Nike Frees — on a classic black Omafiets. Plus the big bun on top. And Ray-Bans to make it stick. Nice.
On gorgeous spring days like today, sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy the views of the Amstel, the sunshine…and the cute boys in the rowing boats!
This is one of my favorite streets for shopping, people watching, coffee drinking, and of course cycling. I never tire of watching the stylish peeps riding by. Boots, scarves, beards, berets, colorful bags. Eye candy galore!
Plus, everyone always slows down to look at the shop windows (which are always oh-so enticing). Some people see me taking photos and give a smile. Thanks guys!
Since December passed us by so quickly we are just now getting to share some big news. US-based urban cycling mag, Momentum Magazine, featured our very own Amsterdam Cycle Chic girls in their December issue. Joni and I wrote a brief article with tips about the best cycling city in the world, including a few pointers on “how to cycle like an Amsterdammer”. In the 2-page spread they also featured photos by us — and Aude’s shot of me for last year’s Cyclist of the Month was chosen for the cover! You can still download the December issue here.
We love opportunities like this. Sharing Amsterdam’s unique and amazing — and all so normal at the same time — bike ‘culture’ with the world is one reason this blog exists. So keep on cycling chic, Amsterdam!
Loving. This. Hair.
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!
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!
One thing I love about cycling in Amsterdam is the elegant chaos on the fietspad. Check out how nice and neat these people look while waiting for the light to change! Have you ever seen this? This looks more like Copenhagen, whereas Amsterdam stop lights are often a bit more chaotic. There’s always that one person who squeezes in the usual two-bike queue!
Boy: Thank god the rain stopped!
Girl: Don’t you just loooove this Dutch weather?
Boy: Totally. But not as much as I love you, you cute little pumpkin!
Boy: No, seriously, you look like a pumpkin with your orange pants!
It’s really fall now, right? I love this time of year in Amsterdam. The colors, fresh air, and just a little bit of sun. A perfect day for a ride along the canals. Don’t you think?
Where could this lady be going or coming from in this kind of weather? I could only guess the driving range … or she found a good deal on a couple clubs. Where is the nearest golf course or driving range?! Certainly not anywhere near the corner of Stadhouderskade and Van Woustraat!
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!
She is ready for spring!
by Aude and Willem
These guys were definitely ready for the game!
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!
Is it finally time to (really) break out the sun wear? To roll up our sleeves? Leave the heavy coats at home? Wait, wait–maybe even gloves too?!? These Amsterdammers think so. I was convinced spring was never going to come, but with this sunny, 20-degree weather, I think it’s finally here. It’s definitely time to celebrate with a breezy bike ride through my favorite cycling city!
So get out those sexy sunglasses, I think there’s more sun in store…