At AMS CC we like to celebrate all aspects of on the bike life in Amsterdam- from the old Dutch bike that clanks as it rides, to carting 3 kids, all the groceries and a puppy while making it home for dinner, to urban speed cyclist, and everyone in between. This past Sunday we met up with the women of the Rapha Club House Amsterdam who where headed out on their Women’s 100km ride through Amsterdam.
[Photos by Amsterdam Cycle Chic]
What started in 2013 as a small group of female riders in the UK, has grown exponentially ever year and expanded over 6 continents (Antartica has yet to report in). The best part of Rapha Women’s 100 is it’s not a competition; it’s about connecting a community of women cyclist around the world through a shared adventure and love of the road under two wheels.
According to Rapha’s website over 7,000 women across the globe joined in and rode together on Sunday the 23rd. More than 100 of those women were riding in Amsterdam!
[Photo courtesy of Maaike Steenwijk]
Unfortunately, my little Dutch bike wouldn’t have made it through 100km (yes, Im blaming the bike) so we only have photos of the beginning. Maaike Steenwijk followed the cyclist along the ride and was kind enough to loan us a couple of her photos. Thanks for letting us join the fun!
Jonathan is an Amsterdam based designer from the UK with a passion for all things retro. He loves working with his hands to make his creative visions come to life – whether it’s designing shoes for international fashion brands, reconstructing vintage furniture or working on his collection of vintage bicycles.
Welcome, Jonathan! We’re glad to have you as our December cyclist of the month! To get started, tell us a bit more about how you ended up in Amsterdam.
I’m originally from the UK, more precisely from where Hobbits live. Yes, that’s right. Lord of the Rings was actually written in my hometown. After visiting Amsterdam for a long weekend, I fell in love with the city! One month later, I found myself moving over. That was about two years ago… and here we are now, enjoying a crisp, cool day in the lovely Nine Streets neighborhood.
As an expat, what was your first reaction to the Dutch cyclists here in Amsterdam?
At first, it was all so unique and quite startling!Now, cycling has become a major part of my day-to-day routine here in Amsterdam. The Dutch are known as the kings of cycling but it was a totally new concept for me after living in London for 10 years. Unfortunately, in London there’s a lack of forward thinking towards cyclists which makes it quite unsafe.
In your opinion, what makes Amsterdam so special for cycling?
Now that I have adapted to life-on-bike, I absolutely love it! Cycling around the Jordan with friends is one of my favorite areas because of course, the scenery is lovely. Plus, it is more peaceful and less crowded than the rest of the city center. Riding my bike has become a bigger part of my life. Cycling in Amsterdam really inspired me to start buying vintage bikes and do them up, which is now one of my favorite hobbies.
How did you get into collecting vintage bikes?
I love the hands on process of fixing up vintage bikes. Plus, of course the bike loving vibe of Amsterdam is an inspiration. A few years ago, I bought a bike black, vintage Peugeot. It was from 1975 in like-new condition, just beautiful! Once I got my first vintage bike there was no looking back, I was in love! Now, I’m a vintage bike enthusiast. At one point, I did have seven vintage bikes so, perhaps you could call me a “collectomaniac”? At the moment I am down to only three, including the Carlton pictured here.
My other prized bike is a 1982 Peugeot Centennial Edition PH12, this was one of the first bike to consider aerodynamics, it has only been ridden twice since 1982! At the moment, it’s hanging on the wall of my apartment. My third bike is a Peugeot that my dad bought brand new in 1975, when he was 13.
What’s the story behind the unique, vintage Carlton that you’re riding around the Nine Streets today?
The one pictured here is a Carlton criterium custom which I built myself after bringing it over from the UK.The bike was owned by a family friend who bought it new. He was a long distance rider so, I have had it the bike has undergone some changes and I still want to change it further and make it into a single speed.
This is the first bike I built myself and added a Basil bell and Brooks seat. I’m very proud of it!
Carlton is up there as one of my favourite brands. My dream is to one day I have a Bianchi Pista too, they’re absolutely beautiful. So far, I have yet to find one the is in good enough condition… Hopefully some day!
What’s your favorite aspect about cycling in Amsterdam?
My favorite aspects of cycling in Amsterdam are the people you run into along the way. When biking around town, I often spot a friend cycling by and we wave or shout, ‘Hello!’ You often see the most random scenes pop up out of the blue. It’s fun to capture a quick snapshot of wacky moments on my phone and share them with friends for a laugh. I get so much enjoyment from riding my bike everyday in this wonderful city. Thank you, Amsterdam!
And a big thanks to you Jonathan for joining us here at Amsterdam Cycle Chic! You can follow along with his vintage bike adventures via Instagram. ‘Til next time…
Interview & photos by Lily.
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!
Milou, one of the Amsterdam Cycle Chic team members, moved to Berlin a few months ago. So Else and Joni of Amsterdam Cycle Chic decided to visit her there.
We loved it! And in between enjoying one of the many terraces, parks and museums, we spotted cyclists, quite a lot of cyclists, and many of them in cool Berlin style!
Check out these elegant ladies on their pink bicycles…
The cycle chic team has been travelling a lot in Europa during the summer. Lately Aude and her sister were invited by their mum to go to pAris! Of course they rented a velib’ to move around. And they met many locals on a velib’ too. Here you can see a girl on high heels…
Guys chatting on Pompidou square…
Some youngsters heading for a party…
Cycling is getting more and more popular here so many people have their own 2 wheels. Look at these:
Frenchy on a race bike…
Dude on lady’s bike…
Girl on a city bike with basket…
The trio Aude-sister-mum have been cycling through the whole of pAris. They came to see the exhibition “Panorama” from Gerhard Richter on the top floor of centre Pompidou. Dedicated to modern and contemporary art, le centre Pompidou is a place you can’t miss if you are interested in art. This painting called “le vélo” is from Alain Séchas, it is part of the permanent collection of the Museum.
Else spotted this guy in one of Amsterdam’s metro stations. With the orange wheels it was actually hard to miss him! You see these trendy fixed gear or racing style bikes more and more often in the streets of Amsterdam.
Looking cool on a racing bike while cycling through Amsterdam’s sunny streets
Fixed Gear bicycles (a.k.a. fixies) are getting more and more popular. They’re already part of the daily streetscape of Amsterdam and gaining ground in the rest of the world. For those who’ve not yet heard about this type of bike: Fixed Gear bicycles have no freewheel, meaning –as the name kind of reveals- that you cannot change gear. Also, the bike is brakeless. When it’s moving, the pedals will be in motion as well…
Why do people ride those bikes, you might wonder. A legitimate question. Especially in the crowded streets of Amsterdam it can actually be a life threatening way of transportation. Fixed gears are originally designed for track cycling in a velodrome. Without breaks and gears, the bike is low-weight and therefore it’s easy to accelerate and maintain high speed. From the tracks it has found its way to bike messengers, who also use their Fixed Gear in the famous alleycat races. Because of its appealing and sporty look, Fixed Gear has become the transport of choice of fashionable hipsters nowadays, even despite their lack of brakes.
Border City Bikes
Designer Josha Roymans is smartly responding to the spreading Fixed Gear movement and has started Border City Bikes, a brand new brand for custom bicycle parts. He has designed a wooden handlebar, handmade (and therefore unique) of ecological Dutch wood from gardeners and foresting. This environmentally friendly bar comes in three types: one made of yew, one made of oak and one made of robinia. All of them are finished with ecological oil. Before the release on December 1st at Bike shop Pristine Fixed Gear they were already selling like hot cakes.
Want one? Check www.bordercitybikes.com.
While strolling along the Amsterdam canals it becomes clear: bikes, and fixies in particular, are no longer only a matter of transportation. Bikes, rather than cars, have grown out to be the urban status symbol. In the city, it’s all about bikes now.
Last weekend the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant wrote about a new trend in Dutch cycling culture: elegant girls on racing bikes. It is not very practical with high heels and without a chain guards, but it is chic and vintage. We like it!