It’s official: Spring is in the air! My favorite day of the year. The first really nice day that you don’t need gloves or wool socks.
Lovely 17-degree sunny weather brought all of Amsterdam to the Vondel Park for some much-deserved sun-on-skin action. Ahhhh doesn’t it feel so good. The park was full of people and their bikes thrown anywhere. It’s like as soon as they got to a sufficiently grassy and sunny spot–the kickstands came down, pants rolled up, and blankets strewn. Dust off those sunglasses (or just squint like a real Amsterdammer) and pop the prosecco, because spring is here.
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!
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!
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!
Amsterdam really is an urban jungle; a few weeks ago we saw giraffes cycling through the city, and this weekend there were penguins and polar bears on Dutch bikes. It was part of the Greenpeace campaign to save the arctic. People were dressed like arctic animals or were carrying animals in their crates or cargo bikes to protest against oil companies destroying the land and climate. Because most of the Netherlands actually lies below sea level, the consequences of the polar cap melting can be huge for this country. So what do the Dutchies do? They get on their bikes and protest!
Read more about the ‘save the arctic‘ campaign.
Did you see the Pride parade on the canals this Saturday? Those boats were incredible! In between the fabulous drag shows, feathered boas, winged costumes, glitter and glam–some people managed to keep their pants on this weekend at Amsterdam Pride. And when they did, it was nothing but pink!
Boots and shorts–great combo for this summer weather. Don’t forget your poncho too! With the few minutes of sunshine in between the down-pours, sometimes it’s nice to take your bike for a walk. Slow down, look around, enjoy, and repeat!
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?
Looks like these curls are heading to the park for a picnic, bike bags are packed!
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.
What a weekend it’s been. The sun is shining, people are happy and out on their bikes all the day long. This is the time of year when I just can’t get enough of this city. And Queen’s Day has yet to come! Let’s hope this wonderful weather keeps up for Tuesday.
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?
You probably already noticed it on our blog, but to have a crate on the front of your bike is really trendy in Amsterdam! Hardly any cute baskets in the streets just cool and sturdy crates, in different colours, sometimes branded or full of stickers. What do you think of this trend?
Please meet Vitor, a Portuguese bike fanatic who owns and runs Recycled Bicycles here in Amsterdam. He grew up in Lisbon and has been BMX riding since he could pedal a bike. I meet him at his workshop on Spuistraat one rainy day to chat about his shop and his passion for bikes.
How did you end up here in Amsterdam?
I came here for a visit in the early 90s and loved the cycling culture. In ’96 a friend of mine was living here, so I crashed at his place for a month and really got to know the city. I moved here shortly after.
When did you start up Recycled Bicycles?
In around 2002, I was sick of the menial jobs I was doing at the time, tired of working for someone else too. Since I’m a BMX rider I’ve always been around bikes–I love fixing up my own bike and I was already helping out friends too. So I started up the shop to build bikes in 2003. We’ll be celebrating 10 years next month!
Where do get all the parts of the bikes?
When I opened the shop, I built all the bikes from abandoned parts on the streets.But one day, the police came knocking on my door and told me I couldn’t use the abandoned parts from the street or in the trash–that it’s illegal to go through the trash and take home parts of bikes. So now I have to buy the bikes from the Gemeente, like everyone else. I wish they had a better system for the small businesses like mine; I’m competing with so many larger businesses that have much more money.
What is the bike culture like in Lisbon?
Different from Amsterdam, but growing every day. There are many more people on bikes now–not just for exercise, they are going from A to B. One day we’ll see some fietspad in Lisbon…
Do you have other hobbies besides BMX and building bikes?
I also play bike polo. It’s a tight-knit sport right now, just a small group of us here in Amsterdam play, but it’s gaining momentum. I also want to get more into long-distance riding. I did a ride from Paris to Lisbon, and it was an epic journey. I want to do it again, but on a fixed gear bike this time.
Thank you Vitor! Keep on building those bikes.
Now they have released a new bicycle interview, with Alexander Klopping (a tech freak and gadget expert, known from the popular tv show ‘De Wereld Draait Door‘) and Ernst-Jan Pfauth (a Dutch journalist and blogger, known best for his columns on technology in nrc.next).
We encourage you to join Alexander and Ernst Jan on their Sunday cycle through Amsterdam, to see how they met via Twitter, to hear them argue about the demise (or not) of traditional journalism, and to learn some cool Dutch cycling tricks.
The mission of ‘Cycling With…’
“Today’s cities face big problems: polluted air, obese citizens, and social exclusion. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: the bicycle. ‘Cycling With…’ believes that by sharing stories of inspiring people on bikes, we can encourage cities to take pro-cycling action. So we have embarked on a mission to film 100 ‘Cycling with… documentaries’. And to show the world how gloriously easy, fun and sexy a bike ride can be.”
If you want to help, please sign up for their newsletter now.
- Visit the ‘Cycling With…’ blog for more videos
Last weekend I took a ride through Amsterdam with Dr. Steven Fleming, an academic, theorist, and urban planning philosopher with a knack for cycling. His recent book Cycle Space, like his blog and twitter feed, closely inspects the relationship between architecture and cycling. He was in town for the (wildly successful) Rotterdam Urban Bike Night, hosted by the NAI.
We had a great ride from the Station to Java Eiland, to Brouwerij ‘t IJ, then around Oost, and wound up on Utrechtsestraat–at my favorite herring stand. The whole time we talked about bikes and the future of cities.
My favorite quote from him went something like this, and say it with a really thick Australian accent: “Cycling here is like a hand-me-down blanket from your Oma–it’s ancient, but you love it and you can never get rid of it!”
Happy Friday to all!
These guys are having fun, aren’t they. Great bike, great smiles. I just hope that back tire made it all the way!
Mr. Cycle Chic and founder of the entire Cycle Chic Republic, Mikael Colville-Anderson, made a book full of pictures of chic cyclists from all over the world. It is called ‘Cycle Chic’ and published by Thames & Hudson.
With colourful images Mikael takes you around the globe and shows you how people enjoy cycling through their cities and look fashionable at the same time. There are pictures from his Copenhagen and from our Amsterdam, but also from many other cities from all over the world.
Wanna see more?
The final video that our friends from Hungarian Cycle Chic made of our city.
Thanks! It makes us love Amsterdam even more.