Where are you from and why did you move to Amsterdam?
I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California and I first came to Amsterdam as part of a sustainable bicycle transportation course during my undergraduate studies and immediately fell in love. I vowed to come back and returned in 2014 to pursue my master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Amsterdam.
Tell me about your bike.
A traditional second-hand omafiets whose brand has been lost under shoddy paint jobs, it is the third bike that I have had in the two years that I have lived here. I love the comforting noises my rattily Amsterdam bike makes, the way she mutters with the down-stroke of my pedal, and how her gentle clatter alerts other before I overtake them. I love riding around at night and gently closing my eyes for a minute to find myself amidst an orchestra of bikes clambering over the cobblestones.
My bike is my lifeline, my freedom. She has met and bore witness to friends, colleagues, and lovers who have made awkward small talk or laughed so hard they made us swerve as they have driven next to us or sat on her back rack.
What do you love about cycling in Amsterdam?
Riding ignites and stimulates all of my senses. It is my time during the day when I am free; free to think about my last meeting or construct a dinner recipe for when I arrive home, or I am free to think about nothing at all and simply enjoy the momentary feeling of weightlessness you experience as I come down over a canal bridge.
Why did you want to be a blogger for Amsterdam Cycle Chic?
As arguably the best place to bike in the world, I want to share the absolute wonders that everyday cycling can do for people and for a city. As a place that has prioritized active transportation, creating a human-centered city that promotes healthy and happy lifestyles, I want to share and promote this and Amsterdam Cycle Chic seemed like the perfect medium to do so.
Summer holidays means getting to travel to different cities and explore the cycling culture outside of Amsterdam. On a recent trip to London, I got the chance to observe what it is like to cycle in Europe’s largest city and test out their bicycle share system, Santander Cycles.
What struck me about the cyclists in London is that many take the utmost pride in their bicycles. While there may be fewer cyclists in London, those who ride do so in the uttermost style atop impeccable, shiny bikes with beautiful leather accessories. These cyclists make me hopeful that someday soon we will see masses of everyday cyclists swarming the streets of London.
Another exciting observation was that new developments in the city seem to be catering to and in turn witnessing a surge in all kinds of cyclists. While parts of the cycling infrastructure felt disjointed and disconnected, there were some shining sparks of hope that tempted cyclists to ride in true style. This was apparent during my ride around the new developments in East London. From families to hipsters bikes abound.
While there was a general lack of lack of Dutch style bikes, I was overjoyed to spot a bakfiets and a woman with all of her shopping reminding me of home.
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!
Saw this lovely burst of colour whizzing by, delivering a parcel, and I just had to stop him! He spent the day riding through snow, sleet, rain and finally some sunshine. Didn’t seem to phase him
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!
So many people are talking about the North. You can find it just across the small stretch of water, accessible in only a couple of minutes by the ferry of your choice! All for free of course.
Go take a bike around this weekend if you’re in town!
There are Christmas trees buzzing around the city every day, being wheeled, placed and decorated in homes, all over Amsterdam!
This handsome fellow has made his catch, and making the journey look easy! … 12 sleeps to go!
It’s officially the cold, grey, rainy season here in the ‘Dam, so it’s a breath of fresh air to see some colour around. This girl is rocking some turquoise locks, and has a cool bike to match! Even her backpack is smiling
You may have seen some of these guys and girls around town, collecting tourists or saving a soggy rain-soaked biker. They are the bike taxis and are also part of our Amsterdam street scene! They must be super fit, from riding all day collecting passengers – and must thankful we have no hills and tiny bridges. Seems like a more eco-friendly choice when it comes to public transport.
Holiday lights warm up the streets of Oost! Even on a rainy night, these folks are flying along Javastraat on their way home from work, heading out with friends or just running errands.