Inspired by Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Posts tagged “Dutch bikes

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: www.cyclingcities.info

Cycling Cities


Poem of the day

Coat tails are flying.
Riding one-handed.
Getting in the zone.  

 


Gameboy

Just when you think your weary legs can’t cycle anymore … you spot what we like to call a ‘Chic’er’ – a super chic cyclist with some fashion on board! Gameboy backpack + faux fur coat + pink gloves and grooving to tunes, en route to somewhere fabulous for sure. Arriving with style people!

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By Mel


Instamonth

The top 3 loved photos on our Instagram this month are…

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A coffee with a view

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.

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Cycle Chicstagram October

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

1. Iris on her new bike

2. Colder mornings

3. Doggy morning run

Doggy morning run #amsterdamstyle #fietspad #hond #uitlaten #walkingthedog #Amsterdam #bikeams #dog #perro #bicicleta #cyclechic

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

4. Speedy super daddy

Speedy super daddy #threekids #cargobike #fatherandson #starwarstshirt #bakfiets #bikeams #dutchguy #dutchbike #cyclechic #familycycling

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

5. Lambike ;-P

6. OMG, that is sooo Dutch

7. On the ferry

8. Waiting for a friend

Waiting for his friend to cross the street #amsterdamstyle #amstel #bikeams #dutchbike #Amsterdam #cyclechic #cyclingforallages

A photo posted by amsterdamcyclechic (@amsterdamcyclechic) on

9. Cycling with his daughter’s back pack

10. Deux par deux

Instamonth
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.


TGIF joy ride

Last night these two were speeding down the Weesperzijde – with smiles of course – definitely in a hurry to get to their destination, which likely had beers and bitterballen awaiting them.😉

  


Wired for sound

You hear a lot of people singing as they zip past you in Amsterdam. Some know the tunes from their head and others sport rather fashionable ears around town..your thoughts? Unsafe or just a cool way to get into the X-Factor?

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By Mel


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

Instamonth
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.


Sunday park festivities

Sunshine, festivals and Sundays. What more can we say? De Parade just started in Amsterdam and its the perfect climate for cycling over to Martin Luther Kingpark and checking out this super cool travelling theatre..all the parks are full!

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ACC_DeParade_RainbowPopcorn

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By Mel


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