Inspired by Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Child seats

Why we cycle in the winter?

Here in Amsterdam, it’s getting pretty darn cold. It’s a biting, bitter, wet cold. This is the kind of cold that creeps into every crevice that is exposed and then laughs in your face.

No, there’s no snow on the ground – and it’s not even THAT cold, according to the thermostat (or Northern Scandinavians, for that matter). I’ve read -4C (25F) as the lowest temp recently. But for some reason, and maybe that’s the Californian in me, it just feels cold.

We’ve gotten a few emails recently asking about the cold weather and cycling: “What do Amsterdammers do in the winter?” So, Henri and Maria: this is for you.

It’s a habit.

You see, when you live in Amsterdam, you become so used to your bicycle as your main way of getting around. Your whole life starts to revolve around your bicycle. Your routes become habits. The grocery stores, cafes, shops along your routes become daily destinations. Out of habit (and probably laziness, too). On your daily routes, like to and from the office, you get used to being able to zone out, to think about other things, and to let your mind wander. You know your route that well. It’s that predictable, and dare I say, boring but relaxing at the same time.

You probably even know small, particular details about your route, things that you think only you know. (Like the small patch of uneven pavement that you knowingly swerve around.)  You’re so used to it – the route, the swarm of cyclists around you, the mind-wandering thoughts – that you need this time, even if unconsciously. It’s the moments of your day you get to just be, and you even sort of forget that you’re peddling. It’s this critical nothingness in your day, and at the same time maybe the best part of the day, that becomes a deeply ingrained habit.

Next to the ride itself, you are used to your “usual” stops – for groceries, bread, coffee to go, the corner post box. You have different preferred places for different routes and directions. You know where you like to park your bike at these places. You have your favourite part of the bike rack or sidewalk (remember, Dutch bikes have kickstands!) and you park there almost every time. It’s second nature.

So what happens when it gets cold? When it rains? Snows? When the streets are frozen? In extreme conditions like snow or frost, the City ploughs the bike lanes at 3am – before they plough the rest of the street. That happens a handful of times every year. So that’s helpful for safety reasons.

Other options exist – tram, bus, walking, even car – and some do people opt out. (Stats show only a small percentage opt out in the winter.) But for the most part, Amsterdammers are only continuing their time-honoured, ingrained habit: using the bike.

We all know habits are hard to break. So Amsterdammers are no special species when it comes to cycling in the winter. There’s only one thing we do: wear a warm coat. After all, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

XOXO
Amsterdam Cycle Chic

Why we cycle in the winter? Why we cycle in the winter?
Why we cycle in the winter?
Winter cycling//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js


Best 9 of 2016!

Happy New Year!

2016 was a wonderful year of bicycling in Amsterdam and we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.

This year Amsterdam Cycle Chic is celebrating our 5th year. We want to specially thank you, all our followers, for inspiring us to keep sharing the Amsterdam love for cycling.

Are you following us on Instagram yet? Last year we had 214 posts and over 34,000 likes from over 5,000 followers!

Check out our top 9 posts of the year!

You're the pedal to my wheel. #justmarried #wedding #ido #forever

Dinking in effortless style #cyclechic #amsterdam #summernights #typicaldutch #fietsen #loveonbikes Heading to school! #amsterdam #wintercycling #kidsonbikes

#kissandride in #amsterdam #bikelove #summerlove @uber but #Amsterdam style

After school minivans #amsterdam style. Complete with snacks, friends, a chauffeur and fresh fall air. #urbancycling #bicycle #dutchbikes #kidsonbikes #frenchbulldogs becoming #Dutch. #roughlife #Amsterdam #dogslife #dutchbikes


Get your self-driving bike today only!

Google Netherlands has finally released it’s much-talked-about self-driving bicycle. “It’s the best invention since the bicycle itself,” says the director of the Dutch bicycle advocacy group, the Fietserbond.

Check it out for yourself:


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!


Cyclist of the Month… Maud, initiator Cyclehack and bike expert

“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.”
Maud de Vries

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.

Cyclehack Amsterdam

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.

Toury fietsapp

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.
Maud de Vries, initiator Cyclehack Amsterdam


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 post shared 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 post shared 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 post shared 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 post shared 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.


Winter wonder blur

I caught these Amsterdammers going though the Rijksmuseum bike path, enjoying today’s sunny chill and riding fast through the tunnel. So many people out and about on their bikes today. Babies, bakfiets, lovers, and friends — I love that no matter the weather, we keep on peddling.  
Winter wonder blur
Winter wonder blur
Winter wonder blur
Winter wonder blur


Looking dashing through the snow..

Well, unfortunately we won’t be getting snow for Christmas this year but we will be dashing around town collecting our ‘Kerstboom’ (Christmas Tree), Christmas dinner ingredients and Turkeys! Nothing is too much for the locals here balancing their festive decorations and babies in perfect harmony.

We at Amsterdam Cycle Chic want to wish all our fabulous readers a wonderful Christmas and look forward to sharing more Amsterdam cyclists with you in 2015!

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By Aude and Meredith + wishes from all the Cycle Chic-ers!


Instamonth: November’s top 10 Instagram pictures

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

1. Saturday morning in autumn

2. Daddy and baby girl cycling through the rain

3. Rainy Saturday morning at the Westergasterrein

4. The warmest November day ever!

5. Man in black

Men in black on our blog, have a look at amsterdamcyclechic.com #bikeams #cyclechic #nofilter #amsterdam

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6. Amsterdam style cycling in Paris

7. Waiting for the ferry in Amsterdam-Oost

My morning commute, waiting for the ferry #amsterdam #bikeams #roetz #ij #cycling #cyclechic #azartplein #amsterdamnoord #ilovenoord

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8. Peak hour racing

Peak hour racing #amsterdamcyclechic #amsterdam #cycling #bikes #dogsandbikes #pets

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9. Never too chilly for sequins daaarling!

Never too chilly for sequins daaaaarling x #amsterdamcyclechic #girlonbike #cycling #fashion #fallfashion #amsterdam

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10. Loving the chic combo: Red bike, number plate, sneaks, stripes, flowers

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.


Sing along in style

This dad and son duo–with their matching bomber jackers–were singing one of the Dutch Sinterklaas songs while they ride down the street. Such a sweet moment to watch the two.

Sing along