Amsterdamize Classics part 1: 70’s Cycle Jive

My last post got me inspired to do some more research. Feeling like a history major again, I quickly opened up the online image library of the Amsterdam City Archive. Back in my college days, all was done by hand for lack of interwebs and/or no online access to anything. Now, of course, it’s like being a kid in a candy store. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The image library is vast, huge, enormous. Sophisticated search options instantly got me what I was looking for. Then more, more…sure enough, 2 days later, I’m still browsing.

My catch so far: about 250 bicycle related or non-related, but with bicycle as side-kick, photos. Ranging from 1895 to 2007.

Having gone through them all, (legally!) downloaded them all, tagged them all, named them all, a few assumed and promoted aspects of the history of bicycles in the Netherlands are totally confirmed now, no myths, no exaggerations.

Since its invention the Dutch have embraced the bicycle completely (whether general usage was up or down) and started using it for work (commute/cargo), leisure, family, events, celebrations, rich or poor, etc etc. It hasn’t changed one bit. More volume now, but same attitude, same pragmatism, same no-nonsense, same feel for style (or just disregard for necessity to wear something else), the same joy for riding.

Alright, I’ve decided to gradually put them all up, working from back to front, starting at the turn of the 19th century, coining this series ‘Amsterdamize Classics’. For this first post, however, I wanted to pick a decade that I have some familiarity with…thus bringing you the Cycle Chic Jive of the 70’s.

A few from this batch:

1970's Amsterdam Cycle Jive
1975, girl on Dam Square. Photo by Ed van der Elsken.

1970's Amsterdam Cycle Jive
1970, corner of Eerste Laurierdwarsstraat and Eerste Rozendwarsstraat, two friends pedaling off into town. Photo by the Amsterdam City Archive.

1970's Amsterdam Cycle Jive
1975, Vijzelgracht, gotcha! Photo by Ed van der Elsken.

1970's Amsterdam Cycle Jive
1979, Reguliersbreestraat, view from Rembrandt Square, a time when cars were still allowed there, rush hour for all. Photo by Ed van der Elsken.

7 Comments so far
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Way cool! Thanks for the pictures!

Comment by beezodog

First Officer Brit to Captain Brit: “It’s civilisation, Jim, but not as we know it”.

Keep these pictures coming, Mr. Amsterdamize, we’re lovin’ it!

Comment by WestfieldWanderers

there’s more where that came from, Beezodog, be prepared :).

@WFW hahahaha, good one! Big smile, and aiming for a lot more.

Comment by amsterdamize

Great work! Thank you for your labors, this is wonderful to see.

Comment by Charlotte

thanks, Charlotte, labor of love, I guess 🙂

Comment by amsterdamize

Yikes! we used to look like THAT!!!?? LOL

Yep…from what I recall

Great digging! History can be fun.


Comment by 2whls3spds

hehehe, admit it, your bell-bottoms and side burns were the same width 🙂

You ain’t seen nothing yet, believe me. Soon…

Comment by amsterdamize

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