“Dutch kids are the happiest kids in the world, and our bike friendly culture certainly is one of the reasons for their happiness. That is why my mission is to promote cycling and make sure it stays the preferred mode of transport in the Netherlands.” Maud de Vries is one of the initiators of Cyclehack Amsterdam and a bike culture expert. Cyclehack is a global movement where people get together to address the barriers to cycling and come up with creative solutions. “With Cyclehack we wanted to give Amsterdammers a wake-up call. We Amsterdammers are so used to cycling every day, that we do not always fully appreciate what we have. When I ask an Amsterdammer to look at cycling through the eyes of a tourist, people start talking about what cycling means to them and how it influences lives, here and in other parts of the world.”
Amsterdam is an example of bike friendliness, but still we encounter some barriers. Can you name some of those barriers?
According to the city council the important barriers that need to be addressed are bike parking, bike theft, too crowded cycle lanes and connecting cycling to public transport like the metro and the train. We, as the organisers of Cyclehack, see two other important challenges; innovation and marketing. We want to claim the bike like Scandinavia has claimed fashion. Amsterdam should again be the number one cycling city in the world.”
Cyclehack took place in 40 cities around the world in the weekend of the 20th of June. What are the ideas with the highest potential that came out of Amsterdam’s Cyclehack?
We are already working on putting some ideas into practice: Cycle Space (a space about cycling in the city), LinkLock (a lock attached to a pole that indicates when a bike was parked, to help address the problem of bikes gone a stary), and the ‘bike-back-crate’ (a foldable bike crate that you can take with you on your back) amongst others. But there are many other ideas that came out of Cyclehack that we are talking about with the city council and Dura Vermeer, one of our sponsors.
Beside organising Cyclehack Amsterdam you do a lot more to promote cycling, can you tell us something about your other projects?
I am a creative strategist working mostly on bike to work projects. I address the issue of how to get people on their bikes (and out of the car). I am looking at creative ways to change people’s behaviour. I work a lot on ‘Toury’. Toury is an bike to work app, it is a game that triggers people to get on their bikes. For some people losing weight could be a trigger, other people are triggered by environmental reasons, health reasons or because cycling is very relaxing after a day of work. The app addresses all those different triggers. We work internationally with this app with big companies and organisations.
Why do you love cycling so much?
Cycling gives me a feeling of freedom. It immediately relaxes. I can stop wherever I want, I see things that I don’t see from a car or public transport and it is social, you connect with other people. I just love it!
What bike do you have?
I have a Workcycles FR8. It is a great bike! It is the first bike that I spent quite some money on. I bought it when I had my first child. It is great for short and long distances and I can carry my two kids and the groceries on it. When I arrive home, I ride the bike into my house and put the groceries in my kitchen. I have recommended this bike to many friends and everybody loves it.
Check out Amsterdam Cycle Chic’s top 10 Instagram pics of May.
1. Bikes parked on the bridges of the old canals
Bikes parked on the bridges of the canals. What a pity to see a van like that on such a picturesque location. Would be nice to have a car free city centre. #Amsterdam #dutchbikes #canals #bridges #thenetherlands #houseboat #dutchhouse #canalhouses #bicicleta #carfree #citycentre #velo #holland #holanda
2. Speedy cycle chicster
3. D is for Daddy
D is for Daddy! Daddy and his little boy on a little bike trip in sunny Amsterdam. #Cap #Amsterdam #depijp #bikeams #cyclechic #cyclepath #cycling #familytime #familycycling #father #fatherandson #hemelvaartsdag #feriado #bankholiday #Dutchies #dutchbike #growingupinholland #thenetherlands #velo #bicicleta #holanda #dutchguy
4. “Black addicted”
5. Bike lane signs
Bike lane signs. They are making a new bike lane, these are the tiles of the old one. You see them all around the city on the ground. When you see these tiles, you know it is not a side walk,but a bike path (which is sometimes hard to distinguish). #bicycleinfrastructure #bikepath #bikelane #Amsterdam #bikeams
6. Annie “Londonderry” Kopchovsky, first woman to bicycle around the world
7. Cycling high!
8. Following their shadows
9. Father and son cycling through a park
10. Amsterdam style: looking good, but not spending a penny on your bike
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.
Vondelpark is the place to go if you are looking for a bargain
It mainly attracts families, but also hipsters: see those guys
Is this dad helping his son or just chilling on his bike?
This one seems to be helping, unless he is escaping the crowd?!
Cargo bikes are the best if you are about to sell/buy stuff for the coming year!
Don’t try biking through the crowd,
but just wait to have some room and jump on your bike again,
or on the bike luggage rack of your friend..
In any case, the sun was there, as every year..
It was a nice one, see you next year again orange Dutchies!
Finally the first real spring days! And what do you do? Ride to your local park and chill out. At the Sarphati Park, in De Pijp, you could barely see the grass. Bikes and people everywhere. Oh ya.
It brought a smile to my face when I sidled up to this pretty colourful pair at the cash machine. Perfectly matched Mother and Daughter duo are ready to go shopping together!
..Punky Brewster eat your heart out!
The American colours flew high and proud on this warm summers night in Amsterdam.
Friday evening brought together sunshine, bbq-ing, some friends and soccer (it is world cup season after all) in Amsterdam. I bumped into the friendly guys at Hygge Life (pronounced Hoo-ga life) who cycled their pimped up poffertje bak-fiets to the local park full of their spiffy cooking gear and delicious gourmet ingredients – and were ready to serve all the peckish patrons in the park. You can turn a bicycle into a thriving business it seems!
Alex and her partner Koen, both itty-bitty-pancake-poffertje masterchefs are warming up their gas cookers and Hygge bus engine for a 3 month road trip around Europe enjoying the summertime and making poffertjes for locals and holidayers along the way. A trip of a lifetime!
For all you readers around Spain and France..keep your eye out for these delicious little pancakes!
..good luck guys!
When it comes to cycling the Dutch love to double up. Especially on chilly, wintery days like today, it seems like the only way to get around is to jump on the back on your friend’s bike and snuggle up close. Or hop on a tandem like the adorable cutie-pie in the last pic! Don’t lose those flowers!
Now there’s a chic cyclist-in-training!
I’ve seen tons of adorable kids on or with their sleds these past few days and I keep thinking…where are they going? If you haven’t noticed, this city is really flat. Like really flat. Where are the hills for sledding?!
One thing the Dutch love to talk about is the weather. I hear these conversations all day long. Such a lovely time of year in this city. The leaves of course are the highlight. All the oranges and yellows. Bring your layers though and get out your gloves: this is the time of year the weather can’t decide on anything.
I joined a local yoga studio and in one of the classes, the instructor spoke about the fall; that it’s a time to reflect inward and, like the trees, change your inner color, express yourself in a different way, and maybe think about shedding something you’ve been holding on to for a while. I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit because I can’t seem to pin something down. What could I let go of? Maybe I should be vegan again. Become a tea drinker. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just think about it more and get back to you.
For now, I just looooove riding my bike in this city…