Inspired by Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Flowers on bike

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!

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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!)


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?
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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.”

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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!
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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.

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4 reasons we love Copenhagen


Ambidexterity

When I moved here, I was just hoping to stay on my bike and ride in a straight line. Time sure brings confidence!

Delivering love

By Mel.


Instamonth: April’s top 10 Instagram pictures

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

1. Carrying flowers on back carrier

Carrying flowers on #bikeluggagerack #flowers #fleurs #bike #velo #amsterdam #wibautstraat

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2. Love on a bike

Love on a bike #cyclechic #bicicletaeamor #bikeams #amsterdam #doubling #dutchbike #sparta #dutchlady

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3. Turning to the right

4. Kings Day: Bikes in Vondelpark

5. Another windy morning

Another windy morning #amsterdam #cyclechic #windyweather #wind #dutchbike #bikeams #cyclelane #cycling #bicicleta

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6. Bike crates are soooo cool!

Boys in Amsterdam #bikecrates are soooo cool! #growingupinholland #amsterdam #amsterdamcycling #kidsonbikes #bikeams #children

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7. Kings Day: Hipsters in the Vondelpark

Hipsters celebrate it too! #hipster #amsterdam #kingsday #koningsdag #qday #holland #orange #racebike #cyclechic

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8. Mums and Babies

Mums and babies #westerpark #amsterdam #childseat #dutchbike #dutchlady #bikeams #familycycling #cyclechic

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9. Kings Day: Vondelpark Flea Market

Everyone in #orange for Kingsday in the #vondelpark #brocante #dutchie #holland #kingsday #qday #amsterdam #cyclechic

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10. Kings Day: Dinking

Good evening all! #homesweethome #amsterdam #wibautstraat #oost #kingsday #qday #koningsdag #cyclechic

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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.


Ready, set, RACE!

It looked like these two girls were trying to race each other once this red light turned green. I don’t blame them. At the end of a long work day, I also feel like racing home! Just can’t wait to take off my shoes and kick up my feet.


National Tulip Day 2015

This past weekend was the much anticipated start of the Tulip season. 200,000 colourful Tulips were ‘planted’ in front of The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Dam Square as part of an annual pop-up celebration held to celebrate our national symbol. The best part of it all was that the general public were invited to pick their own bouquet of fresh tulips! (if you were patient enough to cue up for hours!)

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Bikes of course were out in full force, with their crates swinging with gorgeous towering tulips. The red colour represented Red Cross who was a sponsor of the event. They want this to be “a reason to share and give flowers to your neighbour, to show you care”. Let’s hope there was some sharing done here as it’s easy to take home beauties like these just for yourself.

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Couldn’t get any more Dutch than this!

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Happy Tulip Day!

By Mel.


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.


Cyclist of the Month..Alexander, Owner of A.P Bloem florist

Alexander is a true Amsterdammer. He owns a beautiful flower shop in the speigelquartier in the centre of the city. His customers cycle up to his store on the Prinsengracht canal and cycle away with handfuls of gorgeous flowers neatly tucked away in their arms, bike crates or panniers. He lives and breaths flowers – he even lives on a street called the Bloemgracht! (flower canal). You may have seen Alexander or his staff zipping through Amsterdam on their bikes delivering daily flowers to locals in the sunshine, rain or even snow.

Alexander

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Why did you become a florist?
The story all started in the area of Nieuwendammerdijk, in Amsterdams North where I grew up. This area provided my inspiration as a small child where I played in the forest behind my family home, building huts and creating my own garden. I used to make floral necklaces for my grandmother in my little secret hideaway. Floristry came naturally as I love working with my hands and creating special and unique things and getting to know all different kinds people. I love it.

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Where are your favourite places to ride?
In the Summertime I love riding my racebike to the fishing village of Marken. This 45km cycle route is the best way to spend a summer day and it is also a popular route amongst locals and tourists. You can take a quick ferry ride from Amsterdam, cycle along the picturesque dyke houses all the way through Durgedam. Its a beautiful cycle route. In Spring and Fall I love cycling through forests such as Amsterdamse Bos or Hoge Veluwe which is outside of Amsterdam. I even take my bike to other cities such as Brussels when I have weekends away. It’s the only way to travel.

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What bike do you own?
I have an original Gazelle that my Grandfather used to own, a racebike, an opa fiets (Grandpa bike) which has a big wooden crate to make my flower deliveries with – and I recently received a beautiful hybrid bike for my birthday which is half race-bike, half mountain bike. Each one has it’s own purpose.

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A.P Bloem
A.P Bloem services Amsterdam and across the Netherlands with their arrangements and displays for local homes, birthdays, weddings and special events. Their signature style draws inspiration from the Golden Age and wild fields in the true essence of nature. “We genuinely love what we do and we wish for people to share and experience the beauty of the special things we source and create” says Alexander. You can keep up to date with their flowery adventures here.

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