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!


Get Your Bike On!
July 21, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, special, video | Tags: , , , , ,

Amsterdamize got featured on today! Mobuzz TV is an international video podcast (different shows for different countries) on internet/tech/culture/art/gadgets and all that’s related, based in Madrid. Don’t underestimate it, it’s got millions of viewers.

My good buddy Gabemac, the host of the Daily Buzz, apparently got inspired by my little bike blog adventure and related ones, such as Mikael’s and decided to dedicate the whole show to what we all love so much. Kudos to him and for being able to squeeze so much in, be it less than 7 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday Night Cycle Chic
July 18, 2008, 9:53 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos | Tags: , , ,

Obviously, Friday nights are perfect to observe Cycle Chic in action. Going to that party, meet at a cafe or cruising to that comfortable terrace at a square downtown, any of these destinations requires just a few basic things: dress up (or casually down) and mount the bike.

Without exception, at all venues of leisure you’ll see two things: people and bikes. Lots of them. The streets belong to us. Makes it all so much more relaxed and convenient.

Friday Night Cycle Chic
Friends riding into town

Friday Night Cycle Chic
Marie Heineken Square, O’Donnell’s terrace.

Friday Night Cycle Chic
Riding into De Pijp neighborhood.

Friday Night Cycle Chic
Pedaling towards De Jordaan neighborhood.

Friday Night Cycle Chic
Waiting at a bicycle traffic light, leaning and standing up.

I shot these pictures with my Nokia N95 camera.

Amsterdamize Picture Of The Day : “Wet”
July 16, 2008, 9:35 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos | Tags: , , ,

“Almost entirely destroyed, but fortunately still locked!” – Originally uploaded by moosterbroek on Flickr

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.

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!”



  • 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.”



  • 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.”



amsterdamize photos : room with a view
June 18, 2008, 1:52 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos | Tags: , , , ,

Finally I found some time to shoot pics, not from the hip on my bike, but some steady ones from the window of a house I’m temporarily sitting for. Not all crisp and sharp, but that’s mainly because most Dutch cycle commuters ride so fast (and my video camera’s still capabilites are just barely acceptable)! Yes, fast, on sit-up-and-beg bikes, with kids, on cargo bikes and even cycle chicness won’t slow them down :-). This post is also meant as a mirror for the more than silly premise of the previous one.

How to move a bike cargo carriage…here you go.
Room With A View

Classic moment: the man on the sidewalk is about to make a classic mistake, edging to cross the bike path without looking back first. The cyclists had already spotted his naive momentum and anticipated in a way that almost naturally avoided a collision, which is hard to imagine with an untrained eye.
Room With A View

Cars and other traffic respect the nr 1 mode of transportation. They have to, they’re outnumbered…and cyclists themselves.
Room With A View

This is downtown Amsterdam, mind you. Don’t even start with “Oh, that looks dangerous, no helmets!”
Room With A View

SUV (Super Utility Velo) & SUM (Superbly Utilizing Mom).
Room With A View

Left pic: Work never stops, but you look so much cooler answering your phone while biking, stopping on the sidewalk, flipping out your papers and be at total ease. Try that while driving a car. No contest.
Right pic: Mom coasting comfortably with 2 in total Cycle Chic style.
Room With A View Room With A View

More here.