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Chic Review: Majem Raincoat

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Think back to the last time you cycled to work or anywhere in the rain. If you live in Amsterdam you probably don’t have to think too far back, for you, what was the most dreaded part? For me it’s not the commute itself but the clingy, cold, wet jeans I’m stuck sitting in at my desk for hours after my ride. Until recently I thought the only option   was to either accept the wet jeans and be stylish with a traditional raincoat, or go for the function over fashion route by wearing one of those Ikea ponchos and looking like “a potato” as one of my colleagues so nicely pointed out (you know who you are).

Until I found Majem rainwear- where fashion truly meets function.

I first encountered Majem while walking through Modefabriek on a work inspiration trip and this coat caught my eye. I was immediately drawn to it’s unique silhouette and smart style.

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It was beautiful, I was intrigued, and after speaking to the owner I was almost sold; but being a product person I needed to give it an “on bike in rain” test ride (or rides) before I could truly make up my mind.

Designed in Amsterdam and made from recycled plastic, Majem was created with the urban commuter in mind. The coat runs long for extra protection on and off your bike I’m 174cm (5’7″), wearing a small, and it hits just below my knee. Whether you are commuting in a suit or jeans, to work or just getting around town, it has you covered.

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What makes this jacket unique are the two side zippers that allow for a quick transformation from a raincoat to a stylish poncho depending on the amount of rain protection you need that day.

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My favorite part about this coat, aside from the obvious function and style points; I never got overheated or sweaty. The relaxed fit and the fact you can make it into a poncho creates enough airflow that you don’t get as much interior cold, wet of other rainwear garments.

Pros:

  • You’re covered from head to toe= dry happy jeans
  • Functions as a raincoat & poncho when needed
  • Adjustable well-fitting hood w/ good brim (so important!)
  • Two secure front hand pockets
  • Smart unique design = Fashion + function
  • You feel super snazzy wearing one
  • Locally designed
  • Sustainable material
  • No damp cling
  • Guaranteed inquisitive compliments when wearing

Cons (that really aren’t cons but help make for a more balanced review):

  • Could use a fit adjustment tab at waist
  • Currently only available in black and off white (Pink & grey are coming in SS18!)
  • Unisex sizes, not necissarily a bad thing just may lead to a roomier fit on some

 

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What more can I say, this coat has won me over.

Traditionally the coats are €135,00. However, Majem is offering an exclusive discount to Amsterdam Cycle Chic readers.

From August 22nd- September 22nd  when you enter AMSTERDAMCC  at checkout you will receive €25 off, plus free shipping on your purchase at http://www.majem.nl/

Or if you are a local and love an in shop experience Majem jackets can be found at the following retailers:

  • They have their own shop on the Molsteeg 8 – Next to Magna Plaza
  • VERSE Goodstore on the Prinsengracht
  • Pop-up Passage at Central Station officially opening Sept. 7th

In the meantime, be sure to check out their beautiful Instagram @majemdesign and tag us both after your first Majem dry ride!  #majem #amsterdamcyclechic

I wont’t sign off hoping for more rain but I will say cheers to more dry rides!

And as Majem says “enjoy the rain”.

Mérida

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The freedom of movement

We love the summer!

We dug through our archives to find a gem of a photo (taken by former ACC contributor Aude de Prelle) for a photo contest happening now until November. It’s sponsored by Mucca, the owner of the website Jak and Jil. The theme this year is Girl Power. What better than to enter a photo of young women taking an everyday bike ride?

Dug through our archives and found this gorgeous shot by former blogger Aude De Prelle. Just entered it into the #jakandjilprowomen photo contest!

Our description of the photo was this:

The freedom to move with ease, safety and joy – at any age & any background – is a reflection of a city that recognizes women as an integral part of its social & economic fabric. This photo captures a moment of freedom. We don’t know where they’re going or where they’re from, but we do know that these women are exercising their power & right to move. And the humble bicycle is a tool to get them there.

We know a lot of our followers and readers have their own blogs with fantastic photos of women on bikes – let’s populate this contest with these photos! To enter your photo, check out the Photo Challenge 2017 website. It’s super easy!

Cycle Chic Spotlight: Alex

Alex is a German expat from Hamburg who has been living and working in Amsterdam for a decade. In 2015, he founded The Coffee Vine, a blog turned monthly subscription box for caffeine addicts to try new varieties of beans each month. Today, he’s sharing a bit about his life on two wheels, so pour yourself a cup of joe and keep reading to learn more.

Welcome, Alex! We’re excited to have you in our Cycle Chic Spotlight series, let’s get started. How did you end up in Amsterdam?
I came here rather unexpectedly, at first Amsterdam wasn’t my radar at all. I was living in Hamburg and recruited at a large FMCG company. Funny enough, I didn’t really enjoy Amsterdam after two rather disappointing holidays here but ten years later, I am still live in Amsterdam and loving it here more than ever!

How cycle friendly is your hometown compared to Amsterdam?
Hamburg is a really big city and despite having an excellent public transport system, many people still prefer to drive. Over the past few years cycling in Hamburg has become a lot more popular and safe. Now, there are bike sharing programs and the city has implemented a lot more bike lanes. That’s a great change to witness.

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Tell us an eye opening experience about cycling in Amsterdam.
Living in Amsterdam definitely changed my view on cycling. It has become a way of life for me now rather than a necessity. In the beginning, I was a bit weary of cycling in the city center because the Dutch can be really aggressive but it’s funny how quickly you assimilate. Now, I sometimes catch myself cursing at tourists too.

A few years ago I used to work out in Amstelveen so, I had a scooter. Obviously, it was a lot faster and less exhausting but I was the only person in my circle of friends with one. Now I sold it and became regular cyclist again, I realized how much I actually hate scooters in the bicycle lanes!

Amsterdam-Cycle-Chic-Alex-2017-5Amsterdam-Cycle-Chic-Alex-2017-7What is a typical day in Amsterdam like for you?
I usually get up at 7:30, cycle to my gym, then back home to get ready before I settle into work – either from home or at my workshop which I also bike to. I love my neighborhood, De Baarsjes. It’s a vibrant my neighborhood close to so many parks. I’ve got Sloterplas, Rembrantpark and Vondelpark all within a 10 minute cycle from my house. My work is very close to my house and it’s not very scenic. When I go from Oud West to De Pijp I love going through Vondelpark and soaking up the greenery. Running my own business, I don’t really have a set work schedule, which is really nice because I can grab my bike and pop out for lunch with friends or go to other meetings. It’s great to get fresh air and cycle around the city.

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What’s something special about your bicycle?
My bike is actually just a simple Cortina ladies bike. I don’t like the bar across the middle that men’s bikes always have so this one works better for me. I don’t have any flashy details or accessories but of course, I do have a cup holder on the front for my cup of coffee on the go!

Now and again, I need to take a coffee box to a customer or a partner. I hold it in my hand when cycling and I feel like I can show it off a little bit! We feature different artists on the sleeve from time to time, I am really proud of our custom branding.
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What are your favorite places in Amsterdam for coffee?
At the moment, my favorite spots are NewWerktheater, Toki and Scandinavian Embassy.

What inspired you to launch The Coffee Vine?
I began drinking coffee during trips to the U.S. with my dad. He always loved getting big lattes from Starbucks and sprinkling cinnamon on top and that sort of got me into it. Over the years, I developed a more refined taste for coffee and a real interest in specialty coffee. Then, I realized an opportunity to combine that love for coffee with my passion for writing. The Coffeevine started out as a blog about the best coffee bars in Amsterdam and further. Through my blog, I met a lot of key people in the coffee industry so, when I launched my coffee subscription I was able to cash in on my strong relationships with the best roasters. This really helped because they already knew me and trusted me. When I left my last job, I launched our coffee subscription in 2015 and that’s what I still do today. It’s exciting to work with something I am really passionate for!

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alex, happy cycling!

Interview + photos by Lily

Rapha Women’s 100km Ride

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At AMS CC we like to celebrate all aspects of on the bike life in Amsterdam- from the old Dutch bike that clanks as it rides, to carting 3 kids, all the groceries and a puppy while making it home for dinner, to urban speed cyclist, and everyone in between. This past Sunday we met up with the women of the Rapha Club House Amsterdam who where headed out on their Women’s 100km ride through Amsterdam.

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[Photos by Amsterdam Cycle Chic]

 

What started in 2013 as a small group of female riders in the UK, has grown exponentially ever year and expanded over 6 continents (Antartica has yet to report in). The best part of Rapha Women’s 100 is it’s not a competition; it’s about connecting a community of women cyclist around the world through a shared adventure and love of the road under two wheels.

According to Rapha’s website over 7,000 women across the globe joined in and rode together on Sunday the 23rd. More than 100 of those women were riding in Amsterdam!

20248223_1387694991278897_7697113281755163529_o[Photo courtesy of Maaike Steenwijk]

 

Unfortunately, my little Dutch bike wouldn’t have made it through 100km (yes, Im blaming the bike) so we only have photos of the beginning. Maaike Steenwijk followed the cyclist along the ride and was kind enough to loan us a couple of her photos. Thanks for letting us join the fun!

 (You can view their full route here)

If you’d like to get involved next year or are looking for local cycling events, drop by the AmsterdamRapha Club House  on Wolvenstraat 10 and be sure to check out A.S.C. Olympia – the oldest cycling association in the Netherlands.

Cycle Chic Spotlight: New Team Member Mérida

Amsterdam Cycle Chic - July 2017 - Merida-8.jpgWhere are you from and why did you move to Amsterdam?

Im originally from the East Coast of the US and my family lives in the middle-of-no-where Mexico. For the past 5 years I was living and working in Baltimore, MD at Under Armour as an Apparel Concept Designer. This January I relocated to the European HQ in Amsterdam and have no plans of  looking back. I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of the world and I can finally say ‘I’m home’.

 

Amsterdam Cycle Chic - July 2017 - Merida-6.jpgWhat do you love about cycling in Amsterdam?

This is going to sound so cliche but literally, everyday I see or experience something that makes me smile, I truly can’t get enough of this city. I love the intimacy that cycling gives; you’re at life level with everything and as you whizz by you get just enough of a glimpse to see into someone’s story- Or just enough to create a new one in your head.

I also love seeing the city’s style up close. I’m constant in awe of the women who are flying past me in the morning rocking 5″ heels, meanwhile I have to concentrate to keep my boots on the pedals. Amsterdam is so effortlessly chic and cycling never seems to get in the way of someones outfit; just enhances it.

 

bike.jpgWhat is your bike like?

She’s just a classic, used, back pedal bike. It says “Roady” in some peeling off letters on the frame but I’m not a brand name kind of girl, I chose this one for the color. I love adding little bits of pop; I was secretly thrilled when my original bell, just a plain silver one died because that meant I got to buy this new minty fresh one! I just found this new bike paint that promises a “no drip, no professional needed” coating, so who knows what color or colors she’ll be by the end of the year.

Is there anything you don’t like about your new no-car life?

Aside from the fear of my wheel involuntary flying off while I’m cycling at great speeds; I haven’t figured out the best cupcake transport system yet. I love to decorate and share cupcakes co-workers and friends, but the Amsterdam roads are not so forgiving. So in the mean time I’ve started the #BikeNowFrostLater movement. If anyone has any possible op de fiets solutions- please send them my way!

 

Amsterdam Cycle Chic - July 2017 - Merida-14.jpgWhy did you want to join the Amsterdam Cycle Chic team?

I love how engrained biking is in the city, from toddlers learning on the balance bikes- to the guy doing wheelies under the Rijks Museum Tunnel, everyone is equal when in the bike lanes. And there is something so magical about the morning commuter rush, like a flock of swallows, each an independent being but the flow never falters. I want the opportunity to share those moments with the rest of the world.

From a professional standpoint part of my job is sending street recaps of things I’m seeing in Amsterdam and other travels back to our US based design teams.  I’m already cycling about admiring the city’s finest and freshest, sneaking photos of anything that catches my eye. I’m known for leaving a friend mid sentence to chase someone/ something down the street snapping away, trying not to crash my own bike.

 

Welcome Mérida!

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Pictures of Mérida by Lily.

Flowers & Fiets

Aalsmeer Flower Festival Bike Tour

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June 17-18, 2017

 We lucked out for our first Aalsmeer Flower Festival bike ride and the weather was stunning. With 6 large event stops, the self guided tour wound through the charming city and unless you got as lost as many times as we did, was 26km in total.

Each venue offered a unique experience, ranging from, making your own flower jewelry, listening to live music under a lily covered cabana, to joining a  bouquet building workshop at the International Floral Design School. There truly was a little something for everyone, including a pancake truck if you got peckish (I did mention it was 26km right?).

If you missed the festival this year, I highly recommend taking a day trip to bike through Aalsmeer. The neighborhoods are quiet and beautiful, flanked by fields and greenhouses.

Aalsmeer can be reached by bike from Amsterdam with a nice ride through Amsterdam Bos or you can hop on the train, just remember your bike needs a ticket too!

Keep a look out for next year’s event which will be June 16th-17th, 2018.

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Along the way you were greeted by other bloemen enthused bikers denoted by the floral chain that was given at the start of your ride.

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One of the ten new Art Boxes (utility lockers) hand painted by local artist, scattered throughout the tour. 

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For other great day trips by bike be sure to check here and here.

(Do you have favorite summer day trips? Tell us in the comments and we’ll add it to the list!)

Join our team!

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We are looking to add a couple 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 3 international, entrepreneurial women. 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. We now have over 6,000 followers and we are an official member of the Dutch Cycling Embassy.

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

  • Must live in/near Amsterdam!
  • Enthusiastic about everyday life on bike in Amsterdam
  • Can commit to about 2-3 hours 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)
  • Basic 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/Instagram post, complete with 2-3 photos (check out our blogs and Instagram for an impression)
  • submit before May 28th (Sunday)

Looking forward to meeting you!

 

Tot ziens Winter!

Amsterdammers are so very happy to see winter behind them. The days are now longer, brighter, and we can wear less clothing. That’s always a good thing!

At Amsterdam Cycle Chic, we are constantly taking photos and we end up blogging or gramming only a handful. So we thought we’d give you a purge of our winter collection. Enjoy!

Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter!
Good bye winter

Cycle Chic Spotlight: Awura

Meet Awura, a 29 year Amsterdam local and law student turned creative entrepreneur. She joins us on International Women’s Day to share more about life on two wheels and the inspiration that led her to found the Creative Women Collective.

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What is a day on two wheels like for you?
I cycle everywhere so, the morning starts with me jumping on my bike heading to the gym, the market or making my way to the office for a meeting. At lunch, I love getting outside for some fresh air. After a little break, I either head back to the office or my next meeting. It’s easy to do errands on my way back home because I have a basket on the front of my bike. I like to grab something fresh to make a delicious dinner at home.

What’s your take on cycling here in Amsterdam?
In Amsterdam we can do so much by bike I cycle every day for work and leisure. Overall, I love it but cycling can be hectic during rush hour traffic and I’ll be honest, sometimes that brings out a bit of my aggressive side (sorry, tourists!)

Cycling can be a relaxing experience too. When the weather is nice, I love cycling around the city in the early evening with my friends. We always bump into the most interesting people – young and old- along the canals of Amsterdam, have a chat and learn something new. Cycling opens the city up to us!

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Aside from the quintessential scenery, why did you chose the  Bloemgracht as the the location of our shoot?
This area is great source of inspiration, the logical reason being that my workspace is located here but I also experiences a really impacting internship during my time working in entertainment law. Every time I ride my bike along this canal, I take a trip down memory lane. This reflection on the past, makes me super grateful for the life I am living today. That includes my current work space at Ide Fix where I am often working on new plans for the Creative Women Collective.

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Tell us more about the Creative Women Collective…
Based on the idea that we are stronger together, the philosophy is to create your own opportunities by growing your network and knowledge. I wanted to create a network that will help motivate women to share their strengths and challenges with each other. The Creative Women Collective is a network of ambitious, energetic women from different creative industries – from food to fashion, media and the arts. The aim is to motivate dreamers to get off the couch and keep professional entrepreneurs hungry for growth no matter how well their businesses are already going. We launched in September 2016 with our first event and it’s been amazing to see how many women are excited to join us!

What inspired you to launch the Creative Women Collective?
I started the Creative Women Collective after three years of practicing law and prosecuting for creative individuals and companies. I was ready for a change and began CWC because I was inspired by the women in my life, especially my amazing mother who is also an entrepreneur. My best girlfriends we are also an inspiration, I see them as epitome of collective strength and creative power. Without them CWC would not be here today!

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You were born on International Women’s Day (March 8). Tell us more about why that’ s significant to you.
My birthday wasn’t a coincidence but is a part of my purpose in life. I discovered the desire to start CWC through my experiences and when I tapped into this desire, everything started to make sense, like a puzzle on it’s way to completion. Even my birthday was a piece to that puzzle.

Due to the changes in the political climate, recently a lot of women marches have taken place around the globe. Women – but also young girls and men – collectively stood together to let their voices be heard in favor of women’s rights. Although the circumstances which have caused these marches are unfortunate, these marches have sparked hope and promise for the future. On international Women’s Day a lot of amazing events are organized to put a spotlight on women, in order to stimulate female empowerment and to address female inequality.

The past couple of years, this day has become more and more important in The Netherlands and around the world, and I am glad to see it!

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How does it feel to be a part of a group that supports and inspires hard working boss ladies?
The first word which comes to my mind is fulfillment. This experience is fulfilling in ways I could not have predicted. The energy during our events is full of inspiration, purpose and determination. The collaborations which roll out of our events are the icing on the cake, and the continued support afterwards amongst our women is the cherry on top!

What advice would you give to other women who want to follow their passions but aren’t sure where to start?
Start with self-reflection: why do you do what you do? The “why” is important because it is the foundation of your business. The foundation these women will need to fall back on in times of struggle, or during times of lack of inspiration.

Also, surround yourself with entrepreneurs and inspiring people. These people have knowledge and experience to share. They have been there and can help you get started or be there for you when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.That’s exactly what the Creative Women Collective events are made to do.

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Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Awura! Happy cycling and Happy Birthday!

Interview + photos by Lily

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