With grey skies looming over Amsterdam, my mind easily drifts back to sun soaked Barcelona where I recently spent a weekend sipping sangria at the beach, eating tapas and of course, exploring the unique culture and architecture on offer. While not traditionally associated with urban cycling, the popularity and infrastructure for bicycles was evident everywhere in this Spanish city.
In the last decade, Barcelona has seen a significant jump in riders with the city’s recent investment in new infrastructure such as bike lanes and traffic lights. Accustomed to Amsterdam’s bicycle-friendly layout, I was happy to notice all the chic people on bikes – and riding on some nice bike paths.
From fixies to mountain bikes and even Dutch cargo bikes, cyclists filled the busy boulevards, city squares, parks and quiet streets. Here’s a peak at the eclectic mix of cycle chic-sters in Barcelona…
As a daily cyclist myself, I was keen to try out Barcelona’s bike share program Bicing. While deemed as shared public transport and highly popular, it’s only available for locals with an annual subscription. So, instead of taking a spin on two wheels, I instead had the pleasure of snapping photos of cyclists as they whizzed by. I spotted plenty cyclists of all ages commuting along the city center’s tens of kilometers of cycling paths.
Looking for more? Check out the Barcelona Cycle Chic blog!
I spent last weekend in London visiting my sister. I already reported on this city in my previous trip.
Apart from cycling around a city, the second best way to discover one is to take the bus. Especially in London with the classic red double-decker bus. Just climb on the second level and enjoy the view from this point. Then you get to see stuff like this. All was just perfect. Like this guy. His pose. The yellow lines on the street. The house. And his look. I could not help thinking of Super Mario Bros with the colours of his outfit and such a moustache! Movember is over right?!
This time, we mainly stayed in East London. I was amazed by the number of single speed/fixie and racing bikes. Here are some instagrammed pics:
In Broadway market
In Hackney, the cool bike shop Hackney cycles
Further on, still in the neighboorhood of Hackney, a cyclist in woodcutter shirt
For Valentine’s Day, London made a city-wide art installation, with 14 eye-catching red #HeartsOfLondon cycle stands across the city. Hackney-based artist Graham McLoughlin collaborated with Cyclehoop, an award-winning company specialising in bicycle parking solutions, in a bid to raise awareness for the British Heart Foundation.
– REPORTAGE BY AUDE –
Check out Amsterdam Cycle Chic’s top 10 of October Instagram pics.
1. Father with 1,2,3..4 kids on his cargo bike
2. Family of four ready to party!
3. Like her style: Dutch bike, green jacket and cool hair
4. Trendy photographer in Paris
5. Sunny commute by ferry and bike
6. Speedy chic cyclist turning the corner
7. Special form of dinking: Standing on the rear carrier
8. Chilly morning in the Vondelpark
9. In the Netherlands more women than men cycle
10. Cycling in the Paris’ rain with a stylish poncho
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.
Tiago Rosado realized this cool film with badseedfilms
Vitor is a Portuguese bike fanatic who owns and runs Recycled Bicycles here in Amsterdam. Meredith already made Vitor one of our cyclist of the month on our blog, have a look!
Cycling with… produced a new video starring architect Naomi. With Naomi we take the ferry to the north side of Amsterdam, and cycle around in this upcoming neighbourhood where Naomi works on social projects in the urban space. Naomi is an architect, but she steadily moves away from the construction part of buildings to the more social aspects.
Naomi is involved in Placemakers; a consultancy and designing organisation of sociologists and architects about urban space.
Cycling with… is a blog that focuses on the social side of cycling. Paddy and Philip interview people while cycling around in their city. In the interviews a broad range of topics is covered. Want to know more and see what kind of cool filming technique they use? Check out their cycling blog!
Have you been to Berlin? Wow, what a city. This weekend I was super impressed with the numbers of cyclists their chic style.
Though the cities are very different, Berliners and Amsterdammers have quite a lot in common when it comes to cycling, also a few new things to learn! So if you’re in Berlin, here’s how to cycle chic. Check it out:
PS. Berlin has their own cycle chic blog, check them out here!
Please meet Vitor, a Portuguese bike fanatic who owns and runs Recycled Bicycles here in Amsterdam. He grew up in Lisbon and has been BMX riding since he could pedal a bike. I meet him at his workshop on Spuistraat one rainy day to chat about his shop and his passion for bikes.
How did you end up here in Amsterdam?
I came here for a visit in the early 90s and loved the cycling culture. In ’96 a friend of mine was living here, so I crashed at his place for a month and really got to know the city. I moved here shortly after.
When did you start up Recycled Bicycles?
In around 2002, I was sick of the menial jobs I was doing at the time, tired of working for someone else too. Since I’m a BMX rider I’ve always been around bikes–I love fixing up my own bike and I was already helping out friends too. So I started up the shop to build bikes in 2003. We’ll be celebrating 10 years next month!
Where do get all the parts of the bikes?
When I opened the shop, I built all the bikes from abandoned parts on the streets.But one day, the police came knocking on my door and told me I couldn’t use the abandoned parts from the street or in the trash–that it’s illegal to go through the trash and take home parts of bikes. So now I have to buy the bikes from the Gemeente, like everyone else. I wish they had a better system for the small businesses like mine; I’m competing with so many larger businesses that have much more money.
What is the bike culture like in Lisbon?
Different from Amsterdam, but growing every day. There are many more people on bikes now–not just for exercise, they are going from A to B. One day we’ll see some fietspad in Lisbon…
Do you have other hobbies besides BMX and building bikes?
I also play bike polo. It’s a tight-knit sport right now, just a small group of us here in Amsterdam play, but it’s gaining momentum. I also want to get more into long-distance riding. I did a ride from Paris to Lisbon, and it was an epic journey. I want to do it again, but on a fixed gear bike this time.
Thank you Vitor! Keep on building those bikes.
This young man is pretty styled out with his red hot wheels, red bicycle chain and even red lock! If you look carefully, you can see he is carrying a Vans shopping bag. This reminds me of the cool guy I photographed a few months ago. As you can see below, he wore red Vans and was cycling on a white fixies.
So, Fixies and Vans seem to be the perfect match, right?
The advantage of the ever populair fixies is that it allows you to cross town, while keeping style and speed to a maximum.
Add to this a scenery of typical Amsterdam canals and you are once more convinced of the fact that Amsterdam cycles chic!