Inspired by Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Summer cycling

Summer cycling in Barcelona

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!

The best summer read: “Cycling Cities”

Cycling Cities

We were lucky enough to take a ride and have a coffee with esteemed Professor, lecturer, and researcher Ruth Oldenziel, co-author of the latest and greatest book “Cycling Cities: The European Experience.” It’s 200 pages are carefully researched and thoughtfully describe how cycling came to be (or not so much) in several European cities –  with Dutch cities as a backbone story of cycling decline, automobility, then incremental change towards what are now urban cycling “success stories.” Of course every city has its own story, culture, and responses to change, and this work delves into those stories from 14 cities in 9 countries. From Budapest’s bicycling revival to Manchester’s “standstill”; Lyon’s corporate enterprise to innovations in Malmö – we can read about diverse trajectories in urban cycling but all with the same goal: to get more people on bikes. Ruth tells us more…

Cycling Cities ACC: What made you want to write this book?

RO: I was in NYC in 2009 – the year that marked the 400-year anniversary between New York and Amsterdam. I was going to give a speech and then take a group ride down the Hudson. I rode up to the venue on my Batavus granny bike with high heels and they just looked at me like, what are you thinking? Everyone was wearing Lycra and riding fancy bikes with helmets. I didn’t have any of that stuff, so they didn’t let me go on the ride! I was shocked. But what was interesting was that we were both shocked – at each other’s cycling cultures. I couldn’t explain it to them; I couldn’t explain why I was on this type of bike and why it was ok that I was wearing everyday clothes and high-heels while biking. I couldn’t explain Dutch culture around cycling. That was when the first thoughts about this book started.

Cycling Cities
Cycling Cities

ACC: Are there other books like this?

RO: Not really, no. In 1999 a book [by the co-authors] was published in Dutch, called “Fietsverkeer” (or bicycle traffic). And in it was a graph showing cycling levels across several European cities. The graph became quite famous, but because the book was only in Dutch it didn’t take off in the same way. So one of our goals was to translate the book and incorporate the most relevant research in the new book – and update the graph. The other main goal was to create a narrative through lots of images and graphics in order to make is as accessible as possible to everyone – policymakers, advocates, the everyday reader.

ACC: What surprised you most during the research for this book?

RO: When we looked at the cycling data – the numbers – it varied so much. Especially within the Netherlands. Variety suggests that the Dutch are not special people when it comes to cycling – really, it was just a perfect storm of events that lead to this “success story” – if you can call it that. Factors like the car coming a bit later, mediocre public transport systems, the oil crisis, and the social movements of the 70s – all these events came together and created a perfect storm for cycling.

ACC: Is there another city’s story that sticks out in your mind?

RO: Basel is an interesting case. The percentage of trips by bike hasn’t changed in decades. Everything is done so well there – the highways are pristine, the historic city centre is car-free and walking is a high priority, public transit is flawless, efficient and affordable, and bicycle infrastructure is also good. All these modes compete, so one is not really better than another. That makes it difficult for the city to push forward the bicycle share. Biking there is nice, but no where near as fun as in Amsterdam.

Cycling Cities

ACC: What’s your favourite thing about cycling in Amsterdam?

RO: I love the Weesperzijde (where we are now). Not only have I lived here a long time – I was born and raised in Amsterdam – but I love that this street has no cycling infrastructure and yet it’s a preferred route to and from the city centre. And of course it is – look around, it’s just beautiful.

ACC: Tell me about this bike of yours.

RO: I’ve always had 2nd-hand bikes, but this is my lucky bike. I’m a klutz with bike keys, always losing them. I can’t even tell you how many bike keys I’ve lost – it’s pathetic. I’ve had this bike for six years and never lost the keys!

Thanks Ruth!

For more information and to purchase her book, see the website:

Cycling Cities

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.”

4 reasons we love Copenhagen #farewell #copenhagen and all your #cyclechic ness! It's been lovely, inspiring and everything in between. 4 reasons we love Copenhagen4 reasons we love Copenhagen 4 reasons we love Copenhagen 2)

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!
4 reasons we love Copenhagen
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.

4 reasons we love Copenhagen 4 reasons we love Copenhagen
4 reasons we love Copenhagen

Top 5 things to look forward to in 2016

Best wishes for 2016!

2015 was a great year. As an ode to all the fantastic shots our team captured in 2015 and all our loyal followers, we’ve put together a short list of the top 5 things to look forward to this year in Amsterdam – doubled up with our most popular blog and Instagram posts of 2015.

1. Several days (at least) of non-stop sun sometime between March 23 and September 17. Otherwise, don’t forget to smile while you squint and bear the rainy weather.

2. Doubling up with a lover (or a stranger).  The best part about getting around in this city is pairing up – on one bike is cozy, but side-by-side works just as well. Our cyclists of the month from February love doubling!



Wieger and Anne Marie

3. Wearing black, preferably a leather jacket as well.    black leather jacket by aude

4. Spotting adorable children and their (stylish) mamas.  This black and white made waves on Facebook and Instagram. And photos of our own Aude (who now has two little ones) was the most-seen post of the year!

**2015-10-10 10.16.24-1

5. Discovering a new favorite corner in this fantastic city. By bike, of course! Maybe a new cafe or a nice view – where ever it is, let it be all yours.

  Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

A huge thanks to all our readers and followers this year! We are grateful for your loyalty and we wouldn’t still be around if it wasn’t for you. From all of us at Amsterdam Cycle Chic, happy new year!

Instagram top 10 August

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

1. Rushing to see SAIL

2. Sister in town🙂

3. Park, walk, catch a train

4. Ladies on bikes

Ladies on bikes #cyclingforallages #cyclechic #Amsterdam #amstel #cyclingforeveryone #cyclingforlife #dutchladies

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

5. My Little Patisserue

6. Cute cargo bike

7. Cycling to the Gay Pride

8. Amalia, Dutch crown princess, on her first school day

9. Colourful girl

Colourful girl #amsterdamstyle #Amsterdam #dutchgirl #girlonbike #amsterdamcyclechic #growinupinholland #bikestagram #bikeams #cyclechic

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

10. Ice cream moment

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.

Paris sweetness in De Pijp

“In Paris, people care a lot about the quality of food. In Amsterdam the price or quantity of food is sometimes more important. But it seems to be changing. Amsterdammers care more and more about good ingredients and are happy to pay a bit more for high quality food or drinks. That’s why I opened my patisserie here last year. I want to introduce Amsterdammers to the art of French pastry making. ” Parisian Audrey Krief is the owner of ‘My Little Patisserie’ in De Pijp. ‘My Little Patisserie’ is a small café with the best éclairs I have ever tasted. Audrey learned to make patisserie in the French capital and now cycles every day on her VanMoof bike to her own cafe to make these little delights for Dutchies. We asked her to be our Cyclist of the Month.
Interviewing Audrey, owner of My Little Patisserie, she is our cyclist of the month. Interview will be online tomorrow @vanmoof #vanmoofbike #patisserie #parisian #parisiangirl #depijp #frenchinamsterdam #eclairs #velo #cyclechic #lotsixtyonecoffee #vanmo

Paris in Amsterdam

When you enter My Little Patisserie, you feel like being in Paris. French magazines, a map of Paris on the wall and often you hear people speaking French. Audrey: “It’s nice how many customers start speaking French to me. Almost all Dutch people learned it at high school and here in this little French place, they like to practice. Often my conversations go from French to English to Dutch without us even noticing that we spoke so many different languages.”

Audrey from My Little Patisserie


“I started my career in the movie industry. I worked for 4 years in Australia and New Zealand. When I came back to Paris, I wanted to learn something new. I wanted to make something instead of sitting behind my computer.” That’s why Audrey decided to learn the art of patisserie making at the Ecole de Boulangerie et de Pâtisserie de Paris. After that she worked in a famous Parisian patisserie. “It had always been my dream to start my own business. This dream came true last December, when I opened this place in De Pijp.”
Audrey from My Little Patisserie

Amsterdam vs. Paris

“I love living in Amsterdam. Amsterdammers are more relaxed than Parisians. I think cycling really contributes to this relaxed lifestyle. In Paris you see people during their long commutes sitting unhappy in full metros or buses. In Amsterdam people spend their energy on cycling instead of on being frustrated or angry. The smaller size of the city and the more relaxed atmosphere makes the quality of life in Amsterdam higher than in Paris. I do miss the great shopping in Paris. Clothes, food, patisserie, there is so much choice there!” Audrey from My Little Patisserie

Thank you Audrey for bringing this sweet part of French cuisine to Amsterdam. Eating an éclair au chocolat or choux vanille fraise et rose once in a while, definitely makes the quality of life in our city even better!

  • Visit the website of My Little Patisserie
  • Audrey is looking for a barista to help her on Sundays. Send her an email if you’re interested: audrey[at]
  • Want to learn how to make real French eclairs? Audrey starts with workshops in September. Contact her for more information.

Ice cream

icecream-1 by aude

One way or the other – ice cream in a cone or on a stick – who can resist an ice cream in summer time..?

icecream-2 by aude

by Aude

Amsterdam tip #36

Whats the first thing you should do when you’re invited into a canal house in Amsterdam? Especially one on the third floor? 

Run to the window and admire the view! First the gables. Then the rooftops and roof gardens. And then the street below. (Then obsessively take photos of people biking by.)



Instamonth: July’s top 10 Instagram pics

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

1. Tutu skirt cycling

2. Another bike going for a walk

And another bike going for a walk! see more on our blog #velo #bike #bikeams #cyclechic

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

3. Saturday night on Dam square

4. Summer hat

5. Chatting on a cold summer day

6. Let the sun shine

Let the sun shine in your hair and start your Friday evening #tgif #amsterdam #plantage #cyclepath #bike #velo #bici #bikeams #cyclechic

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

7. A bicycle windmill

8. Walking home along the Amstel

Walking home along the Amstel #Amsterdam #bikes #bikeams #dutchbike #panniers

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

9. Cycling in the countryside

Cycling in the countryside #achterhoek #Vierakker #thenetherlands #holidaysinthenetherlands #dutchsummer #cycling #thenetherlands

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

10. Cyclists of the month: Pancake and ice cream makers

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.

Snuggle up for sunset

Grab your bike and your love and head out to your favorite vista for tonight’s sunset. It’s bound to be a good one.