You may have seen some of these guys and girls around town, collecting tourists or saving a soggy rain-soaked biker. They are the bike taxis and are also part of our Amsterdam street scene! They must be super fit, from riding all day collecting passengers – and must thankful we have no hills and tiny bridges. Seems like a more eco-friendly choice when it comes to public transport.
One of my favourite spots to work is Brazuca Coffee on Ferdinand Bol and Ceintuurbaan. Not only do they offer excellent and curiously strong coffee – but it comes with a fantastic and exciting view of one of the busiest intersections in Amsterdam. And will only get busier with the new metro line opening up across the street.
Watching all the movement on this intersection is mesmerising. It looks like a whole lot of chaos – with people walking, driving, cycling all over the place – but it’s actually highly organised. I never see any crashes, or even close-calls.
Now that’s what I call entertainment.
This is why I love cycling in Amsterdam – even the suits are doing it! And there’s no need for an iron or a dry clean: just let the evening breeze ease the wrinkles and sweat from the day.
The saying goes TGIF, but I’m saying thank goodness it’s Thursday! What a gorgeous afternoon we had here in Amsterdam. I spent some time on the sunny terrace of the Eye. Might even got sunburned! But I love the ferry on sunny days. Where were you?
Hopefully the sun keeps up this magical work til Monday — the nations best holiday — King’s Day!
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!
Buenos Aires is becoming more and more a cycling city. We love it, and we love to be involved in events promoting cycling in the Argentine capital. This year we were part of the jury of a photography competition organised by I Bike ABC and Motivarte. The theme of the competition was “The bicyle in the urban lanscape” and the jury (consisting of our team member Aude, Mikael Colville-Andersen from Copenhagen Cycle Chic, Else Siemerink, founder of Buenos Aires Cycle Chic, Silvia Rottenberg from NIBA, and Jonas Papier from Photography School Motivarte) had a tough time choosing a winner. But they managed, and these are the winning pictures:
Amsterdam Cycle Chic has worked before with I Bike ABC. In 2012 a selection of our pictures were printed in large sizes and shown around Buenos Aires to promote cycling.
Keep up the Bici Love Buenos Aires!
I Bike ABC
I Bike ABC is an organisation in Buenos Aires that organises events to promote cycling in the Argentine capital. ABC stands for Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen. I Bike ABC is an inititiave of the Danish and Dutch embassies in Buenos Aires and NIBA (Netherlands Institute in Buenos Aires).
Just when the bike wasn’t practical and stylish enough..they go and make cool packable.
Because cycling is a way of living here, bikes are used for all purposes. So if you need to deliver several cartons or a huge amount of dresses, you just climb on your bike and look concentrated, or not !
His great grandfather had a bicycle shop, where his grandmother spoked wheels in the cold Dutch winters and his father ran around as a little boy. At the age of 3 Elian learned how to cycle, when 15 years old he started to work in a bike shop and now he has designed the ultimate city bike, the Minute. In short; Elian’s life is all about bicycles!
The ultimate city bike
Elian is a bike designer. He makes handcrafted bicycles; “the process of designing a bike starts with a blank paper, I talk to the customer, what does he/she want, what is their ideal cycling position, where and how will they use the bike, I take their measurements and then I start.The result is the perfect bike for that person.”
While designing these bikes, Elian realized many people were looking for a bike that would solve the typical urban biking problems many people face: “It should be a bike that they could leave in their apartment (not to get stolen on the street). Not too heavy, not too big, easy maneuverable in the busy city centre’s of Amsterdam and Utrecht and easy to park in the full bike parking’s. Also most people want to sit upright, cycle comfortably and they want to be able to carry groceries and kids on their bikes. When I kept hearing those same requests for a bike, I decided to design the Ultimate City Bike. And we just launched it: the Minute.”
Great grandfather’s bike shop
Elian’s great grandfather had a bike shop in Maarn (close to Utrecht). Elian’s father still remembers being there as a little boy: “His grandfather was a typical bike repairman. He always wore a blue overall, his hands were black of all the repair work and he was always smoking. He still remembers the smell of his workplace.” In the village of Maarn almost everyone had a Fongers bicycle. “The winters were much harsher then, so in winter people couldn’t cycle because of all the snow, in these winters there were no repairs to do. In those months my great grandparents and grandparents had another task: spoking wheels for Fongers. That is how it went in those days.”
Elian lives in Leersum, a village in the green Utrechtse Heuvelrug. His workplace is in the shed of his parents in Maurik. Every morning he cycles to work through the forest and the fields. He has a little son for whom he built a walking bike. “I get a lot of support from my family; my wife moved mountains to get the Minute launched, my 16 year old brother helps building bikes, and my father brings technical knowledge – which often comes in handy.” Even Elian’s grandmother offered help: “Let me know when I can help, I can still spoke wheels like in the old days!”