After a big Gay Pride weekend the locals are soaking up the late afternoon sun and biking home…goodnight Amsterdam.
It’s Summertime here so we all like to go on an adventure when it’s warm. Kinderdijk is a gorgeous picture-postcard place to visit just 1.5hours from Amsterdam and it’s bike heaven! Flat terrain, windmils, canals, green grass and fresh air..ahh! So go grab a bike and head out on an adventure..fingers crossed you’ll have the wind at your back!
Amsterdam is a great city for cycling. But in the tourist high season, the city centre becomes crowded like the queues at Disney World. Which is why sensible people then head out to the outer boroughs. Such as ‘the Rivierenbuurt’. There, we spoke with Ice Cream and Pancake Guru Jason – owner of IJsland.
“You can get pancakes and ice cream everywhere in Amsterdam, but we want ours to be a special experience.” says Marieke (who owns and runs IJsland with her husband Jason). They took a chance by setting up shop outside the centre, but their enterprise is now one of the most popular spots in the neighbourhood.
‘IJs’ in Dutch means ice cream. Jason tells me about theirs: “Our specialty is making soft sorbets. It is made in a similar way as the soft serve ice cream you see in every snack bar in the Netherlands, but we make it with fresh fruit and in a special machine. We are the only ones in the Netherlands with this soft sorbet machine – the only place using fresh fruit to make it.”
Jason continues: “To be honest, the Dutch cuisine may not be the best of the world. For example: the French are pretty good. But we are definitely good at making pancakes. At IJsland we work with our own mother yeast. That makes our pancakes special. We serve the typical, bacon and cheese and apple and cinnamon pancakes. But we also do pancakes with coq au vin, boeuf Bourguignon and Mexican chicken.”
Marieke and Jason live with their two kids in Haarlem, a 15 minute train ride from Amsterdam. “Haarlem is a lovely city. It is smaller than Amsterdam, which makes it a very relaxed place to live as a family,” says Marieke. “In Haarlem we mostly get around in a cargo bike, to get the groceries and bring the kids to school or the swimmingpool. It’s great for cycling. Also in the tourist high season.”
Yes! It’s here! Summer. We only get 10 days of sunshine a year (or at least it feels like that). But when those precious days arrive, we head straight to the park with friends. Pack that portable BBQ into your bicycle crate, grab some beers and bike carefully along the cobblestones streets until you hit your favourite park.
These guys has a bike converted to a DJ sound station which happily entertained the surrounding picnic-ers, combined with their dance moves.
Today the ‘Grand Depart‘ of the Tour de France took place in Utrecht. On one of the hottest days in the Netherlands ever, the cyclists tour through the beautiful old city centre. It is not unique in Utrecht to have so many cyclists. Actually it is something you see every day. But today they are all wearing helmets, lean forward and wear sporty clothes.
With a David Attenborough type of nature film, BLIK filmcommunicatie shows us the specimen of Utrecht cyclists.
Utrecht is a beautiful old city just half an hour by train from Amsterdam. It is definitely worth a visit when you’re in the Netherlands!
Check out Amsterdam Cycle Chic’s top 10 Instagram pics of June.
1. Boy on back carrier
2. Dog in bike crate
Dog in bike crate. #amsterdam #summer #smartphone #alwaysconnected #cyclechicks #cyclechic #dutchgirl #dutchlady #dog #cyclingwithdog #bikecrate #urbantransport #peroenbici #cachorro #Dutchies #dutchbike #amsterdamstyle #goldenbell Dutch lady cycling on a sunny day on a Dutch bike with her dog in her bike crate while making a phone call. Cute dog and love the golden bike bell 🔔 🐶!
3. Cycling down a Dutch mountain
Cycling down a Dutch Mountain. The only hills we have are bridges. There are a few steep ones along the Amstel crossing the 'grachten'. #herengracht #amstel #bikeams #cyclechic #amscyclechic #amsterdamcitycentre #dutchmountains #Dutchies #dutchmen #racingbike #sunglasses #sunnyday #cycling #bicicletas #velo #grachten #amsterdamsegrachten #canaldistrict #amsterdamcanals #bridge #amsterdambridge
4. Bringing the kids to school
5. Sunny bag
6. Texting and Cycling
7. Kids in cargo bike
8. Wicker crate
No cute wicker baskets bit cool wicker crates, that is Amsterdam style! #dutchlady #wickerbasket #wickercrate #fietskrat #dutchstyle #Amsterdam #amsterdamcyclechic #amsterdamstyle #cyclechic #bikeams #sunglasses #dutchsummer #dutchbike #depijp #ceintuurbaan #holandesa #olandesa #neerlandais #velo #bicicleta #gafasdesol #zonnebril
9. Taking his bike for a walk
10. Racing bike
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.
“Dutch kids are the happiest kids in the world, and our bike friendly culture certainly is one of the reasons for their happiness. That is why my mission is to promote cycling and make sure it stays the preferred mode of transport in the Netherlands.” Maud de Vries is one of the initiators of Cyclehack Amsterdam and a bike culture expert. Cyclehack is a global movement where people get together to address the barriers to cycling and come up with creative solutions. “With Cyclehack we wanted to give Amsterdammers a wake-up call. We Amsterdammers are so used to cycling every day, that we do not always fully appreciate what we have. When I ask an Amsterdammer to look at cycling through the eyes of a tourist, people start talking about what cycling means to them and how it influences lives, here and in other parts of the world.”
Amsterdam is an example of bike friendliness, but still we encounter some barriers. Can you name some of those barriers?
According to the city council the important barriers that need to be addressed are bike parking, bike theft, too crowded cycle lanes and connecting cycling to public transport like the metro and the train. We, as the organisers of Cyclehack, see two other important challenges; innovation and marketing. We want to claim the bike like Scandinavia has claimed fashion. Amsterdam should again be the number one cycling city in the world.”
Cyclehack took place in 40 cities around the world in the weekend of the 20th of June. What are the ideas with the highest potential that came out of Amsterdam’s Cyclehack?
We are already working on putting some ideas into practice: Cycle Space (a space about cycling in the city), LinkLock (a lock attached to a pole that indicates when a bike was parked, to help address the problem of bikes gone a stary), and the ‘bike-back-crate’ (a foldable bike crate that you can take with you on your back) amongst others. But there are many other ideas that came out of Cyclehack that we are talking about with the city council and Dura Vermeer, one of our sponsors.
Beside organising Cyclehack Amsterdam you do a lot more to promote cycling, can you tell us something about your other projects?
I am a creative strategist working mostly on bike to work projects. I address the issue of how to get people on their bikes (and out of the car). I am looking at creative ways to change people’s behaviour. I work a lot on ‘Toury’. Toury is an bike to work app, it is a game that triggers people to get on their bikes. For some people losing weight could be a trigger, other people are triggered by environmental reasons, health reasons or because cycling is very relaxing after a day of work. The app addresses all those different triggers. We work internationally with this app with big companies and organisations.
Why do you love cycling so much?
Cycling gives me a feeling of freedom. It immediately relaxes. I can stop wherever I want, I see things that I don’t see from a car or public transport and it is social, you connect with other people. I just love it!
What bike do you have?
I have a Workcycles FR8. It is a great bike! It is the first bike that I spent quite some money on. I bought it when I had my first child. It is great for short and long distances and I can carry my two kids and the groceries on it. When I arrive home, I ride the bike into my house and put the groceries in my kitchen. I have recommended this bike to many friends and everybody loves it.