Inspired by Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Bikes and bridges

The best summer read: “Cycling Cities”

Cycling Cities

We were lucky enough to take a ride and have a coffee with esteemed Professor, lecturer, and researcher Ruth Oldenziel, co-author of the latest and greatest book “Cycling Cities: The European Experience.” It’s 200 pages are carefully researched and thoughtfully describe how cycling came to be (or not so much) in several European cities –  with Dutch cities as a backbone story of cycling decline, automobility, then incremental change towards what are now urban cycling “success stories.” Of course every city has its own story, culture, and responses to change, and this work delves into those stories from 14 cities in 9 countries. From Budapest’s bicycling revival to Manchester’s “standstill”; Lyon’s corporate enterprise to innovations in Malmö – we can read about diverse trajectories in urban cycling but all with the same goal: to get more people on bikes. Ruth tells us more…

Cycling Cities ACC: What made you want to write this book?

RO: I was in NYC in 2009 – the year that marked the 400-year anniversary between New York and Amsterdam. I was going to give a speech and then take a group ride down the Hudson. I rode up to the venue on my Batavus granny bike with high heels and they just looked at me like, what are you thinking? Everyone was wearing Lycra and riding fancy bikes with helmets. I didn’t have any of that stuff, so they didn’t let me go on the ride! I was shocked. But what was interesting was that we were both shocked – at each other’s cycling cultures. I couldn’t explain it to them; I couldn’t explain why I was on this type of bike and why it was ok that I was wearing everyday clothes and high-heels while biking. I couldn’t explain Dutch culture around cycling. That was when the first thoughts about this book started.

Cycling Cities
Cycling Cities

ACC: Are there other books like this?

RO: Not really, no. In 1999 a book [by the co-authors] was published in Dutch, called “Fietsverkeer” (or bicycle traffic). And in it was a graph showing cycling levels across several European cities. The graph became quite famous, but because the book was only in Dutch it didn’t take off in the same way. So one of our goals was to translate the book and incorporate the most relevant research in the new book – and update the graph. The other main goal was to create a narrative through lots of images and graphics in order to make is as accessible as possible to everyone – policymakers, advocates, the everyday reader.

ACC: What surprised you most during the research for this book?

RO: When we looked at the cycling data – the numbers – it varied so much. Especially within the Netherlands. Variety suggests that the Dutch are not special people when it comes to cycling – really, it was just a perfect storm of events that lead to this “success story” – if you can call it that. Factors like the car coming a bit later, mediocre public transport systems, the oil crisis, and the social movements of the 70s – all these events came together and created a perfect storm for cycling.

ACC: Is there another city’s story that sticks out in your mind?

RO: Basel is an interesting case. The percentage of trips by bike hasn’t changed in decades. Everything is done so well there – the highways are pristine, the historic city centre is car-free and walking is a high priority, public transit is flawless, efficient and affordable, and bicycle infrastructure is also good. All these modes compete, so one is not really better than another. That makes it difficult for the city to push forward the bicycle share. Biking there is nice, but no where near as fun as in Amsterdam.

Cycling Cities

ACC: What’s your favourite thing about cycling in Amsterdam?

RO: I love the Weesperzijde (where we are now). Not only have I lived here a long time – I was born and raised in Amsterdam – but I love that this street has no cycling infrastructure and yet it’s a preferred route to and from the city centre. And of course it is – look around, it’s just beautiful.

ACC: Tell me about this bike of yours.

RO: I’ve always had 2nd-hand bikes, but this is my lucky bike. I’m a klutz with bike keys, always losing them. I can’t even tell you how many bike keys I’ve lost – it’s pathetic. I’ve had this bike for six years and never lost the keys!

Thanks Ruth!

For more information and to purchase her book, see the website: www.cyclingcities.info

Cycling Cities


Cyclist of the Month – New Team Member Lily

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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. 

July cyclist of the month 2 July cyclist of the month 3

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).

July cyclist of the month 4

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


Still chic in the ’20s

I love seeing old photos and footage from back in the day. The Eye has a great collection of these old films and this one caught my attention.

A little history lesson: this was when about 80% of all trips were made by bike. Now about 60% of all trips are made by bicycle in the city center. Amazing right?

And look at the people. So simply chic with their hats and jackets. Sitting upright on their oh-so-Dutch bikes. Love it.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 09.07.37Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 09.06.33Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 09.08.28Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 09.09.26


Top 5 things to look forward to in 2016

Best wishes for 2016!

2015 was a great year. As an ode to all the fantastic shots our team captured in 2015 and all our loyal followers, we’ve put together a short list of the top 5 things to look forward to this year in Amsterdam – doubled up with our most popular blog and Instagram posts of 2015.

1. Several days (at least) of non-stop sun sometime between March 23 and September 17. Otherwise, don’t forget to smile while you squint and bear the rainy weather.

2. Doubling up with a lover (or a stranger).  The best part about getting around in this city is pairing up – on one bike is cozy, but side-by-side works just as well. Our cyclists of the month from February love doubling!

 

 

Wieger and Anne Marie

3. Wearing black, preferably a leather jacket as well.    black leather jacket by aude

4. Spotting adorable children and their (stylish) mamas.  This black and white made waves on Facebook and Instagram. And photos of our own Aude (who now has two little ones) was the most-seen post of the year!

**2015-10-10 10.16.24-1

5. Discovering a new favorite corner in this fantastic city. By bike, of course! Maybe a new cafe or a nice view – where ever it is, let it be all yours.

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A huge thanks to all our readers and followers this year! We are grateful for your loyalty and we wouldn’t still be around if it wasn’t for you. From all of us at Amsterdam Cycle Chic, happy new year!


Snuggle up for sunset

Grab your bike and your love and head out to your favorite vista for tonight’s sunset. It’s bound to be a good one.


Instamonth: May’s top 10 Instagram pictures

Check out Amsterdam Cycle Chic’s top 10 Instagram pics of May.

1. Bikes parked on the bridges of the old canals

2. Speedy cycle chicster

3. D is for Daddy

4. “Black addicted”

5. Bike lane signs

6. Annie “Londonderry” Kopchovsky, first woman to bicycle around the world

7. Cycling high!

Cycling high! #amsterdam #oost #racefiets #cycling #parking #trafficsign #nofilter #cyclechic

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

8. Following their shadows

9. Father and son cycling through a park

10. Amsterdam style: looking good, but not spending a penny on your bike

Instamonth
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.


Instamonth: March’ top 10 Instagram pictures

Check out Amsterdam Cycle Chic’s top 10 Instagram pics of March.

1. Spring weather expected

TGIF enjoy your weekend all! Spring weather expected on sunday! in #amsterdam #amstel #cyclechic #tgif #spring #nofilter

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

2. Chit Chat

3. Amsterdam style: cycling home after an holiday

4. Mum and daughter on a Dutch bike

Mum and daughter on a Dutch bike. Suddenly it is cold again! #familycycling #bikeams #childseat #cycling #amsterdam #cyclingtogether

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

5. Is that Jennifer?

6. Cycle to the music

7. Faster than the rain

Faster than the #rain in #kerkstraat #vlaamsebroodhuis #backpack #greenbike #amsterdam #cyclechic #nofilter

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

8. Hotel Bike Only: Count-the-bicycles-game

9. Free Bike Parking at ‘De Hallen’

10. Waiting on the ‘Magere Burg’ for a boat to pass

Waiting on the #magerebrug for a boat to pass on the #amstel #amsterdam #fjallraven #wind #storm #cyclechic #nofilter

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

Instamonth
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.


Foldable style

Just when the bike wasn’t practical and stylish enough..they go and make cool packable.

Foldable_style

By Mel.


Instamonth: June’s top 10 Instagram pics

June, the month that the summer started, that the parks are everyone’s favourite places to be, and the month that the city turned orange because of the World Cup.

Check out Amsterdam Cycle Chic’s top 10 of June’s Instagram pics:

1. Daily life in Amsterdam; cycling together on one bike to work

2. Good morning Amsterdam, cycling along the Amstel river

good morning Amsterdam #cyclechic #cyclechic #Amsterdam #amstel #bridges #dutchbike #dutchsummer

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

3. Lady cycling on the skinny bridge

4. Dutch girl in orange wearing her bike chain as a belt

5. Cycling in the Vondelpark

Cycling in the Vondelpark #Vondelpark #Amsterdam #iamsterdam #cycling #cyclechic #bikeams #park #ladies #womanonbike

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

6. Bridges are the Dutch hills

Bridges are the Dutch hills #cyling #bridge #dutchmountains #Amstel #Amsterdam #boathouse #canal #dutchbike #womanonbike #hippie

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

7. Cool hair!

Cool hair! #Amsterdam #Amstel #dutchbike #ladies #womanonbike #Netherlands #cycling #cyclechic #bicycle #bike #bicicleta

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

8. A rose for your girlfriend?

A rose for your girlfriend? #roseseller #amsterdam #amsterdamstyle #cyclechic #flowers

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

9. Last phone call and then the weekend really starts

Last phone call and then the weekend really starts #tgif #commute cycling in suit #Amsterdam #cyclechic #bicicleta #bicycle #dutchbike #

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

10. Cargo bike parking sign at the Beatrixpark

Cargo bike parking sign #bikeparking #bakfiets #cargobike #Amsterdam #beatrixpark #playground #cycling #bikeams #trafficsign

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

Instamonth
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.


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