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Cyclist of the Month – New Team Member Lily

July cyclist of the month 1Welcome to the Amsterdam Cycle Chic team, Lily! To get started, tell us a bit about where you’re from and how you ended up in Amsterdam.

After visiting Amsterdam a few times as a tourist, I came back in 2009 to work as an au pair for a year. That’s when I first learned how to ride a bakfiets! Through the ups and downs, something kept pulling me back to Amsterdam…many adventures and one master’s degree later, I’m still here, cycling around the city on the same yellow bike.

What’s the story behind your colorful bike?

I love that the Dutch cycle as part of their every-day routine and suspected it would become a passion of mine too. So, I figured that a sturdy Dutch bike would be a smart investment and a fun souvenir of my time in Amsterdam. It was winter time when I first arrived and the bright yellow reminded me of the sunshine I desperately missed back home in Orlando.

So far, I’ve encountered plenty of adventures with my trusty omafiets but funny enough, she never made it back to Florida permanently and neither did I! At first, I added various colorful, flowery accessories but everything was stolen over time. Now I keep it simple with a colorful bell, flowery panniers and of course, a huge lock. 

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How do you find living in Amsterdam?

I absolutely love Amsterdam! My expat chapter became longer than expected but now that I’ve completed my master’s degree, finished Dutch integration and launched my freelance creative business, it’s really feeling more like home.

Name three things you love and one thing you loathe about cycling in Amsterdam:

    1. The convenience! Getting around the city center is faster by bike and fortunately, safe too.
    2. The scenery! Nothing beats cruising along the historic canals on a quiet evening or passing over the Amstel with a warm breeze in my hair.
    3. The weather! Let’s be honest, it’s never fun to get pummeled by hail, blown over by wind or caught up in a surprise rainstorm (Confession: I eventually gave in and purchased that typical HEMA rain suit out of necessity).

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Why did you want to join the Amsterdam Cycle Chic team?

Amsterdam is a utopia for everyday cycling and while living here, I’ve adapted to doing as much as I can by bike. Growing up, I loved riding my bike but unfortunately, Florida doesn’t have the safe, organized cycling culture that we’re so lucky to enjoy here in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Cycle Chic showcases the city’s bike friendly initiative offering a view of how convenient and fabulous everyday biking can be! I hope other cities are able to learn from Amsterdam and offer both safety and scenery for everyday cyclists in the future. Plus, I’m often snapping photos around the city to share on Instagram and my travel blog so, joining the ACC team is a perfect fit.

Welcome Lily!

July cyclist of the month 5

4 reasons we love Copenhagen

I always love a trip to the other cycling capital of the world – Copenhagen. While leading a urban cycling study tour, I was able to spend 10 days in the city, exploring many new streets, restaurants, and bike bridges. But there’s never enough time, right?

I noticed many differences between the Dutch and Danish bike culture. For example, the Danes, it seems, tend to take care of their bikes – I don’t think I ever saw one rusty old bike with barely any air in the tires. The bikes in Copenhagen are clean, shiny, and well-maintained. The Danes also ride much faster than the Dutch. Biking in this city means business – a serious trek from A to B. No messing around and no chit chat. There were even signs all over the city saying “Keep to the right and look over your shoulder if you want to overtake.” Wow! Yes, sir. Nevertheless, it’s still great fun to cycle in this city. Here’s our top 4 reasons we love Copenhagen.

1) The city is a magnet for gorgeous people. Seriously, gorgeous people. With impeccable style. People-watching is taken to a whole new level here. Anywhere you go, at any time of day, people take care to look effortlessly stunning. It’s like, “Oh this rag? I just woke up and grabbed the first thing I could. It’s nothing, really.”

4 reasons we love Copenhagen #farewell #copenhagen and all your #cyclechic ness! It's been lovely, inspiring and everything in between. 4 reasons we love Copenhagen4 reasons we love Copenhagen 4 reasons we love Copenhagen 2)

2)Food is incredible. The Danes know how to eat well. Every meal I had was designed with such care and attention to detail. Fresh fish, heirloom vegetables, perfect sauces, poached asparagus – all was delicious. Favourite restaurants included: Vespa, Madklubben, Marv og Ben, any vendor at the Torvehallerne or Copenhagen Street Food, and Nose to Tail. 2016-06-06 20.4 reasons we love Copenhagen36.47 2016-06-02 19.37.14

3) It always seems to be sunny. Every day was beautiful with blue skies and warm weather. People were swimming in the harbour and sunbathing in parks. Glorious!
4 reasons we love Copenhagen
Enjoying the last rays on Paper Island. #Copenhagen #summercycling #sunnydays #cyclechic 4 reasons we love Copenhagen
4 reasons we love Copenhagen

4) Danish details. I love biking in this city for all the little details, like angled trash cans and foot rests for cyclists. The lovely Cycle Snake bridge that seamlessly flows through the urban fabric. How nice and civilised! They don’t call it Danish Design for nothing.

4 reasons we love Copenhagen 4 reasons we love Copenhagen
4 reasons we love Copenhagen

Movers and shakers

We all love seeing what others can fit and balance on their bikes… umbrellas, pets, babies, shopping. And there there are times where your breath is taken away. The Dutch certainly know the fine art of ‘getting the job done’. Movers?!! Pffft! On your bike! He’s clearly happy with his achievement!

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By Mel

Join our team!

  
We are looking to add 1-2 bloggers to the Amsterdam Cycle Chic blogging team!

Do you love Amsterdam? Do you love taking pictures of people? Are you good at social media? 

Do you want to gain relevant communication and media skills and enhance your network? We’re looking for you! 
We are a small team of 2 professional women (one American/one Australian). We run this blog in our spare time and we are looking for self-motivated people to grow Amsterdam Cycle Chic and the Cycle Chic movement. We can’t offer money, but we have team dinners once a quarter, and we have a huge network! 

In addition to the above questions, other relevant characteristics and skills we’re looking for include:

  • Must live in Amsterdam!
  • Enthusiastic about everyday life in Amsterdam
  • Can commit to about 3 hours per week: 1-2 short blog posts per week; or 1-2 longer posts per month (like the “Cyclist of the Month” series OR a new series you want to take on) PLUS a couple Instagram/Twitter/Facebook posts per week 
  • Can take pretty good photos of people on bikes, owns a decent camera, and has or wants to improve camera skills
  • Is creative and takes initiative 
  • Knows or is willing to learn blog platform (WordPress) 
  • Social media skills

We love people who can stay with us for at least 6 months, but for the right person shorter term could also work. 

Are you interested? Send us an email us (amsterdamcyclechic@gmail.com) and include: 

  • a short introduction of yourself, include any relevant background information and/or links to previous/current work
  • tell us why you want to join the team
  • include a fake blog post, complete with 2-3 photos

The deadline is soon! Submit before May 29th (Sunday)!

Cyclist of the Month: Breean from Bubae

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I caught up with American Amsterdammer, Breean, on a typical February afternoon – rainy, cold, and generally miserable outside. But her energy and enthusiasm made up for it. She took me for a ride in her Johnny Loco cargo bike and we had a nice chat about everything from bikes to love, dancing, and yes, Gyrotonic.

Breean used to dance professionally in New York City; she was trained as a classic dancer and danced with a contemporary dance company. But then she fell in love with a handsome Dutchman (a doctor with curls, no less). She moved to Utrecht in 2011, and then Amsterdam in 2014. She’s a mom of 2 kids, an entrepreneur, and a busy, busy woman.  Here’s a snipet of our conversation.

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What do you like about living in Amsterdam?

Compared to New York, life seems so easy and much slower. I’m still very busy of course – with two kids, a clothing line, fitness instructor – but somehow there’s time for everything. And I still manage to spend plenty of time with my family and friends and just exploring this gorgeous city.

Do you ride this [cargo] bike every day?

For sure. This is my SUV. I love this bike. It’s falling apart, but I love it. I take my girls to school in the morning, and our new thing is stopping to get croissants and a latte (for me obviously) before the bell rings. They sit in here and eat their croissants and play with their fake cell phones. It’s ridiculous but I love it.

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What do you like about cycling in Amsterdam?

In New York everyone is looking for a fight – and New Yorkers are known for their screaming matches. Why they like yelling, I have no idea. It doesn’t help anything. Here, people just mind their own business when they’re on the bike. If I accidentally bump their bike – which happened to me a lot at first – they just glance over and smile, or they don’t even do anything at all.

How long did it take you to ride like an Amsterdammer?

I’m glad I started out in Utrecht, where it’s a little calmer on the bike path. Amsterdam is totally different. It’s busy and stressful – there’s a lot of people on bikes here! At first it was terrifying. Every time I’d get on my bike I’d tell myself: Ok, just DON’T die. I wouldn’t look at buildings or anything else but the bike path. It took me probably a good two months to get confident. Now I absolutely love it. I can’t imagine any other way of life.

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Ok, so tell me about this Gyrotonic stuff…

The Gyrotonic method was developed by an injured dancer who healed herself by developing this method. It’s an amazing combination of rhythmic, circular movements  flowing with your breath. It’s a very adaptable exercise, so anyone can do it, but it’s more of an experience with your body. Come try it out at Full Circle Studio in Amsterdam!

And BuBae?

We’re a small little company with a big vision. At BuBae we design and produce girls’ clothing and give a percentage of the profits to organisations that empower women and girls who are less fortunate than we are. Our fabrics are designed by women from all over the world and then produced by women as well. We’re all about radiating beauty from within. Right now our current line is available on the website.

Thanks for the ride Breean!

Gameboy

Just when you think your weary legs can’t cycle anymore … you spot what we like to call a ‘Chic’er’ – a super chic cyclist with some fashion on board! Gameboy backpack + faux fur coat + pink gloves and grooving to tunes, en route to somewhere fabulous for sure. Arriving with style people!

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By Mel

And the poncho winner is…

Thank you everyone who commented on the People’s Poncho giveaway post! At our team meeting other night, we put all the comments in a hat and we’re excited to announce that Walton is the winner!

He said: “My favourite thing about biking in the rain is surprising people! Ride with a huge smile and give people a friendly wave while they grimace in the drizzle. Enjoy it, embrace it, and feel like a hero when you arrive at your destination. Chase that rainbow!”

Congrats Walton! And thank you again to The People’s Poncho for working with us on this giveaway.

Want to work with us on a giveaway? Let’s talk!

No day is too rainy for #amsterdammers. #depijp #Amsterdam
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