The other day I was riding down Vijzelstraat towards the city centre. As I was approaching the Prinsengracht (a one-way and precisely here), I slowed down, looked for on-coming cars and bikes from the left and right… and kept riding.
Yes, I knowingly rode through a red light. In Amsterdam. The capital of red-light-running. I know, that doesn’t make it ok.
A police car followed me, pulled me over, and proceeded to lecture me about how it’s unsafe, especially “because a police car was parked at the intersection.”
And then he actually asked me if he could give me a fine of €97. I had already argued my side by saying I felt safe, so I didn’t argue further. But could I have said no? I wonder.
So watch out Amsterdammers. They’re out to get ya!
Amsterdammers know how to dress for the cold, the wet, the cloudy, and the ugly. And they do it in style!
When former Paris Mayor Delanoë launched the Vélib’ bike sharing scheme in 2007, people laughed. His aim was to reduce traffic in the French capital and give the Parisians more liberty in transportation. Hence the name velib’: from the French words Vélo (bike) and Liberté (liberty). Many people thought the scheme would never work, but after a difficult start, with bikes being stolen or destroyed, it turned out to be a success. After the first five years, 138 million people had used the 23,000 rental bicycles and 31 communities on the outskirts of Paris had joined Vélib’.
(Read: the bicycles revolution in Paris five years later)
Delanoë ‘is a living liveable city legend’ says the Copenhagenize blog. And we all love Delanoë’s quote: “The fact is that cars no longer have a place in the big cities of our time”
Luckily Paris’ new mayor, socialist Anne Hidalgo, also believes firmly in the importance of bikes and other solutions to calm down traffic. She introduced P’tit Vélib’, little bikes added to the bike sharing programme for kids, she wants to double the length of bike lanes, and make more 30 km/h zones in the city.
I just went to Paris for a week, visiting my parents in law for a lovely family holiday. What did I see? Many people using Vélib’s, but also many people on their own bike. The most noticeable, though somehow quite expectable, thing is that Paris cycles chic! We knew that Parisians have style, and we are happy to see that they don’t change their style while cycling. Business man cycling in suits, ladies with high heels and hipsters with skinny jeans. That is how it should be!
To be honest, there is still a lot of car traffic in Paris. There are many places where cycle lanes suddenly stop and roundabouts where even I, as an experienced urban cyclist, didn’t dare to ride. But, thanks to a large extend to Paris’ current and former Mayor, it is going in the right direction. So keep up the good work Parisians and get on your vélo!
- Copenhagenize: http://www.copenhagenize.com/2014/02/copenhagenize-reviews-agenda-for-next.html
- International Press Service: http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/07/the-bicycle-revolution-in-paris-five-years-later/
- European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/bike-rental-scheme-for-kids/
Dressed to the nines with black heels and all, this VANMOOF dame is heading out on the town!
Hats are all the rage these days. Are you seeing them everywhere, too? Today was a great day for a hat. Typical Dutch weather that leaves you with the slightest chill. I just wonder if her hat stayed on her head the whole time, or did the wind blow it away at some point? Guess we’ll never know…
Since December passed us by so quickly we are just now getting to share some big news. US-based urban cycling mag, Momentum Magazine, featured our very own Amsterdam Cycle Chic girls in their December issue. Joni and I wrote a brief article with tips about the best cycling city in the world, including a few pointers on “how to cycle like an Amsterdammer”. In the 2-page spread they also featured photos by us — and Aude’s shot of me for last year’s Cyclist of the Month was chosen for the cover! You can still download the December issue here.
We love opportunities like this. Sharing Amsterdam’s unique and amazing — and all so normal at the same time — bike ‘culture’ with the world is one reason this blog exists. So keep on cycling chic, Amsterdam!
It’s winter, so bring on the boots! Low boots, tall boots, boots with heels, cowboy boots–no matter the size, color or shape, Amsterdammers love their boots. Check out these Sunday boots on bikes…
On one of the few ‘hills’ in Amsterdam, I watched this girl breeze down the Ceintuurbaan bridge. The wind blowing through her hair. No pedaling required. Just calm and content. And not to mention a rockin’ outfit! Super chic.
Some off-road action before joining your best friends for a good old barbecue in the park. A favourite thing to do on summer nights in Amsterdam!
I have a red bike, so I’m always on the look-out for fellow red-bike-lovers. These three hip ladies all look spring-tastic on their red bikes! Listening to music, sporting the bright green bike bell and yellow pants, thigh-highs, skirts and heels–nice. Keep riding those red bikes!