Amsterdamize


Pedaling Hard
July 23, 2008, 1:12 am
Filed under: amsterdamize, news, special | Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve just about finished working on two new interweb homes for Amsterdamize:

The first will show a new design, but the same familiar content, text, photos and videos. I created the second (Amsterdamize : Bicycle TV) for your convenience, so you can browse through all of the videos in one place. Much better, I think.

Things left to do, which will probably take a few days:

  • Automatically redirecting you and other visitors from the ‘old’ blog to the new one
  • Transferring the rest of the extensive blogroll and other info
  • Tweaking quite a few posts for optimal performance

Things for further consideration:

  • If you’re subscribed through this feed, you don’t have to worry about changing it for the new blog, it’s still the same one
  • You can now also opt to just subscribe exclusively to the videos through the Bicycle TV RSS feed, iTunes or Miro.

Special note: I’d like to thank NunoXEI for creating that amazingly fitting logo for the new blog. I owe you one, my friend!

Let me know what you think of it all! I appreciate suggestions and ideas!

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Interview with Mikael Colville-Andersen
July 18, 2008, 7:03 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, news | Tags: , , ,

Cycloculture just posted their excellent interview with Mikael “The Sartorialist On Two Wheels” Colville-Andersen of Copenhagen Cycle Chic, Copenhagenize & The Slow Bicycle Movement. An excerpt of what can be applied to cycling in the Netherlands and Amsterdam as well:

“Q: How have Copenhagen and other European cities made travel by bicycle so easy, accepted, and fashionable? What can cities in the USA and other parts of the world do to emulate the best elements of Copenhagen’s cycling culture?

A: Copenhagen has been dedicated to creating ‘liveable spaces for living people’ for the better part of four decades. Bicycle infrastructure is a big part of it, but not the only part. It is a classic tale of ‘if you build it, they will come.’ If you give your citizens the opportunity to ride, by providing separated bike lanes and facilities, they will ride. If you help present cycling as easy and fast and accessible, branding it as an acceptable form of transport, they will ride. Less focus on safety – people aren’t stupid – more focus on the benefits of cycling – personal and societal – and you are planting the seeds of bicycle culture. In North America, the sports industry have worked hard for decades to sell cycling as a sport or a hobby. Now we need to get people to realise it doesn’t have to be only a sport. It is transport for people in normal clothes. 54% of Copenhageners ride their bikes because it’s easy and fast. Using your bike is a given here. It’s second nature. It’s not something you think about. You just do it.”



Not all cycling advocates are enlightened
July 17, 2008, 5:31 pm
Filed under: correspondence, news | Tags: , , , , ,

Just now I received this e-mail from Ashley Hosten:

Hi, I would like you to reconsider posting a link to VELORUTION. They have published a blog that is very racially offensive. If anyone knew that you helped Velorution advertise by providing them with a link through your site – its possible that some people that you know, would be extremely disappointed.

Thank you for your consideration

Ashley Hosten

My answer:

Hi Ashley,

I hadn’t checked Velorution for a while, thanks for drawing my attention to this particular post. It is certainly a dishonest and discriminatory piece, which I don’t support, particularly his generalization of how ‘ The Dutch recognise the problem they have and openly talk about it: dark-skinned immigrants do not cycle and that lowers the standards of the nation’.

1) he implies that only dark-skinned immigrants don’t cycle.
a) non dark-skinned immigrants do cycle?
b ) actually, regardless of some polarizing fear-mongering politicians, the Dutch government subsidizes cycle lessons for immigrants, specifically for women, as bicycle use is cost-efficient (important), it’s a social factor (very important) and liberating (and we know how much of a emancipating symbol the bicycle has been in early 20th century (before women won the right to vote). Why change something that works, right?
c) from my personal observations: rather the majority than the minority of (1st/2nd and 3rd generation) of immigrants (most naturalised) uses the bicycle.
2) even if his dribble was fact, not cycling doesn’t lower the standards. I can’t make any cheese out of this bit.

So, in conclusion, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I’ve now decided to post this e-mail exchange on my blog, to let others know. And take him off my blogroll, of course.

best,

Marc

[Update]

I think I can put this issue to rest by adding Velorution’s commentary on my post/e-mail:

P.S. Below the fold are some of the emails I have received. I would like to single out one remark that is characteristic of the prevalent hypocrisy. Amsterdamize called my previous post “dishonest and discriminatory” and claims that “rather the majority than the minority of (1st/2nd and 3rd generation) of immigrants (most naturalised) uses the bicycle.” How come then, one has to look very hard among the hundreds of photographs he publishes, to see a dark face on a bike. Who is the racist now?

Velorution, I’m the last one to see things in black and white, whether it regards people or things written down. I read your post twice, because the first time I wasn’t sure whether you were being ironic, sarcastic, or anything else. Maybe I missed a few things that would clear this thing up. Misconception is a rotten thing, certainly on the internet. Hence, I read it again.

There’s absolutely no wiggle room for misinterpretation. You are an ill-informed, generalizing, discriminatory and dishonest person. With this comment, I would add ‘delusional’ and ‘plain dumb’ to it, as well.

No, you got it right, I’m not going to dignify this utter bullshit any further. I’d be lowering my standards.

I leave you with a related discussion on the CycleChat forum.

Update: Velorution added this and this post to its buckle. I commented the following (waiting for it to appear):

“Well, Andrea, mea culpa? Hardly. Your earlier and apparent intellectual laziness is now pretty clear. You should have thought twice before lumping together many false characterizations and let your bigotry shine through. When you attempted to point out my ‘racism’ and ‘hypocrisy’ because you hardly saw any ‘black people’ in my ‘hundreds of photos’, I could hardly restrain myself from unleashing a DOS-attack on your ‘quaint’ little online bike shop. But then I thought you just weren’t worth having a normal discussion with, let alone lose my temper over. Reading your previous posts and this one I feel totally at ease. My outrage was well founded. You’re so dishonest and inconsistent it’s hard to fathom you can run a business. You basically go from trashing, abusing and discriminating immigrants/black people (or let’s just say ‘not your kind’), to disingenuous backpedaling and (post-related) factual distortion, ending with a half ass and badly baked mea culpa.

It’s so transparent, it’s not hard to feel sorry for you. If you still wonder why I added ‘intellectual laziness’ to the list…my best guess is that you look at pictures the same way you look at those ‘other people’: commonalities. Well, I hate to break to you, but a ‘melting pot’ isn’t called that for nothing. How can you tell (more and more) these days who’s an immigrant, 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation, or anything else? I can’t. (But I know you were looking for those burkas, sure) But then again, what is black, what is brown, what is yellow? I don’t single them out, maybe because they’re just people of Amsterdam and they just happen to be there when I click, regardless. I don’t see how London can be any different from Amsterdam, which demographics have also changed gradually but consistently.

The only conclusion I can come up with is that you haven’t. I sincerely hope you will.”

Photo link 1, Photo link 2, Photo link 3, Photo link 4, Photo link 5, Photo link 6, Photo link 7, Photo link 8, Photo link 9, Photo link 10, Photo link 11, Photo link 12, Photo link 13, Photo link 14, Photo link 15

I could go on, but do you see what I mean? Do you?”



Bike To Work Book Podcast nr 1
July 14, 2008, 12:16 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, news, special | Tags: , , , , ,

Last week, together with Mikael from Copenhagen Cycle Chic, Copenhagenize & The Slow Bicycle Movement, I was a special guest on the first Bike To Work podcast by Carlton Reid and Tim Grahl to talk about cycling in Amsterdam, as a prelude to the launch of the Bike To Work book, to which Mikael and I will be contributing a few pages.

Go ahead and have a listen through the player you see below, or just subscribe to the podcast on their website. Oh, and obviously, buy the book when it comes out, from what I hear it’s gonna be a must-read…;-)

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1082953&dest=30775]



Building Momentum
July 8, 2008, 10:45 am
Filed under: news, video | Tags: , , , , ,

Back to the future! I watched this last night, but couldn’t for the life of me find the real video embed stuff (way to go MSNBC!). No panic, of course another bike blogger would’ve seen it too! Bingo:

On so many levels this has never happened to me:
1. I watched the news and felt upbeat and excited afterwards
2. I watched the news and two stories (1 & 2) in a row were showing what used to be ‘alternative’ ideas as mainstream.
3. I watched the news because I turned it on, and I didn’t walk away
Thank goodness I was waiting for Hub to get ready to go get his bike at the shop or these great things would have never have happened to me.

 

building a bicycle infrastructure in Boston

building a bicycle infrastructure in Boston

I think this news item is good, but when it comes to exposure, building awareness and promoting usage, the web is already light years ahead. I just know the cycle phenomenon has grown way bigger in the US than most assume right now. It’s just a sad state of affairs that one still needs acknowledgment from the MSM to feel legit, public scrutiny and all.

(Speaking of scrutiny: no, I couldn’t even embed the video on Amsterdamize. The code is not compatible. But I’m happy linking you to a fellow bicycle nut…)



Bicycle Statistics, A Question And The Answers
July 5, 2008, 3:48 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, news | Tags: , , ,

The Netherlands
Population: 16,5 million
Bikes: 18 million
New bikes sold a year: 1.7 million 
Bikes stolen a year: between 1.2 and 1.4 million

But the number of bikes in the Netherlands has been at that level, thus stable for years, so what explains this gap? According to the chairman of the Dutch Bicycle Union it boils down to this: 

  • broken bikes are taken off the streets by city services
  • abandoned bikes are taken off the streets to be recycled. Read: shredded.
  • illegally parked bikes are taken off the streets and are registered to be picked up by the rightful owners, but that hardly ever happens. If so, they are shredded, including perfectly new bikes. Suggestion: resell them.
  • Gangs in vans drive around neighborhoods, pick up parked & locked bikes and drive them abroad to be sold. Mostly in Germany and Belgium. It sounds odd, but I’ve experienced the bad end result of this twice myself.

[Update: a related story]



Links with your coffee – Saturday
June 28, 2008, 1:05 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, news | Tags: , , ,

Sent in by faithful reader Gabemac:

  • Turn signal biking jacket
    “This tutorial will show you how to build a jacket with turn signals that will let people know where you’re headed when you’re on your bike. We’ll use conductive thread and sewable electronics so your jacket will be soft and wearable and washable when you’re done. Enjoy!”

World

UK

  • The Big Question: Is Britain really getting on its bike and turning into a nation of cyclists?
    “Why are we asking this now?Because cycling’s time has come – or so it seems from a flurry of initiatives sweeping the country as politicians and planners wake up to what is increasingly seen as the transport of the future.

    So how do we compare with the Continent?
    “Cycling on the Continent is embedded in the culture – in northern European cities, anyway. There are reckoned to be as many bikes as there are people in the Netherlands, and anyone who has visited Amsterdam will know that cycling there is the norm, while car-driving is, relatively speaking, a fringe activity. Road design, and the conduct of drivers, reflects this balance. The bike has priority over the car, whereas in British cities, it remains the other way round. The result is an abiding perception of danger that continues to dissuade people from taking up commuting by bike.”

Europe

North-America

  • Baby steps for bicycle lanes
  • Bicycle interest on the move
    “Irvin said he even sold bicycles to a couple who plans to abandon their automotive ways. “They were selling their cars and … using that money to buy the bikes.”
  • Not all new customers have gone that far, but Walt’s manager Sarah Ashman said there has been high interest in bikes for commuting to work.”

  • Bicycle lanes: do it right or don’t do it at all
  • Commuters ditching cars for bikes, foot power
    “Those who bicycle say they get benefits beyond just buffeting their budgets from gasoline prices.”It’s the fastest way to get to work. Compared to Muni, it takes half the time,” said Tumlin. “I bike because I can change my route and stop off and run errands and see people along the way. It is great exercise and I find a significant difference in my productivity when I bike to work. I am smarter when I bike. I’m more patient when I bike.”

Asia

Australia