Where are you from and why did you move to Amsterdam?
I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California and I first came to Amsterdam as part of a sustainable bicycle transportation course during my undergraduate studies and immediately fell in love. I vowed to come back and returned in 2014 to pursue my master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Amsterdam.
Tell me about your bike.
A traditional second-hand omafiets whose brand has been lost under shoddy paint jobs, it is the third bike that I have had in the two years that I have lived here. I love the comforting noises my rattily Amsterdam bike makes, the way she mutters with the down-stroke of my pedal, and how her gentle clatter alerts other before I overtake them. I love riding around at night and gently closing my eyes for a minute to find myself amidst an orchestra of bikes clambering over the cobblestones.
My bike is my lifeline, my freedom. She has met and bore witness to friends, colleagues, and lovers who have made awkward small talk or laughed so hard they made us swerve as they have driven next to us or sat on her back rack.
What do you love about cycling in Amsterdam?
Riding ignites and stimulates all of my senses. It is my time during the day when I am free; free to think about my last meeting or construct a dinner recipe for when I arrive home, or I am free to think about nothing at all and simply enjoy the momentary feeling of weightlessness you experience as I come down over a canal bridge.
Why did you want to be a blogger for Amsterdam Cycle Chic?
As arguably the best place to bike in the world, I want to share the absolute wonders that everyday cycling can do for people and for a city. As a place that has prioritized active transportation, creating a human-centered city that promotes healthy and happy lifestyles, I want to share and promote this and Amsterdam Cycle Chic seemed like the perfect medium to do so.
Summer holidays means getting to travel to different cities and explore the cycling culture outside of Amsterdam. On a recent trip to London, I got the chance to observe what it is like to cycle in Europe’s largest city and test out their bicycle share system, Santander Cycles.
What struck me about the cyclists in London is that many take the utmost pride in their bicycles. While there may be fewer cyclists in London, those who ride do so in the uttermost style atop impeccable, shiny bikes with beautiful leather accessories. These cyclists make me hopeful that someday soon we will see masses of everyday cyclists swarming the streets of London.
Another exciting observation was that new developments in the city seem to be catering to and in turn witnessing a surge in all kinds of cyclists. While parts of the cycling infrastructure felt disjointed and disconnected, there were some shining sparks of hope that tempted cyclists to ride in true style. This was apparent during my ride around the new developments in East London. From families to hipsters bikes abound.
While there was a general lack of lack of Dutch style bikes, I was overjoyed to spot a bakfiets and a woman with all of her shopping reminding me of home.
This guy is 100% Amsterdam. Riding one-handed along the beautiful Amstel, cruising with the dog, black panniers flapping in the breeze, and sporting the tweed and the slicked-back silver hair.
Seriously Amsterdam. Seriously cool.
Holiday lights warm up the streets of Oost! Even on a rainy night, these folks are flying along Javastraat on their way home from work, heading out with friends or just running errands.
It is the most beautiful time to ride at the moment… fresh breeze and a little sunshine. Get out on your bike, and head to your favourite park. Like ours, Vondel Park.
I have to say I prefer much more to cycle than to walk..
No worries, I will drive myself to the hospital!
I scheduled this post, so who knows, maybe my baby boy is already born by the time you read me?!
Special thanks Meredith for this family photoshoot!
Everything fits in his look combined with the bike, until your eyes reach this small detail: a little present that this rough rocker holds in his right hand. How sweet is that! Where is he going? I would say the birthday party of his 4 years old niece?! Love it!
Want to know how to create more space? Less cars and more bikes. This bike park just behind Amsterdam Centraal train station is where locals can park their bikes if they want to catch a train or a ferry. It’s super handy and takes up hardly any space. Even better, it’s situated on a barge right on the water!
Bye bye carparks..hello fresh air and cycling as a beautiful and environmentally-friendly life choice.
Step 8 – Ride Away back home from your journey!