I occasionally work/stay at Gabemac‘s appartment, and returning from Workcycles I spotted these good fellas enjoying their Grolsch beers on the sidewalk of Brederodestraat (where my friends Bicyclemark and Amy also live).
On the left is John, on the right Ron(ald). I asked permission to take their picture, because of a Grolsch project I’m helping out with, but they invited me to stay and have a beer with them. Ron is the resident of the street and John’s a friend who came over to chill with him, something they do every week, when the weather allows it. It was a very fun conversation, Ron loved my bike, wanted to know about my blog and we exchanged information. Before leaving the scene, Ron invited me to come back tomorrow, when they continue, but with more people, sort of block party. I happily accepted. Good neighbors, even though they’re only ‘temporary’ ones.
This is Amsterdam, too.
(Oh, and you must have noted the parked bicycles in the background. Yeah, I can’t help myself.)
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos | Tags: cyclechic, dutch, netherlands, royal
The Dutch Royal House of Orange. Not a subject I thought I’d let myself post about. But, as I want to highlight ALL aspects of cycling in these lowlands, I might as well include that too. If only to emphasize that you can’t speak of ‘a bicycle culture‘ here, as everyone rides and it’s not considered something extraordinary, exotic or fringy.
Enter our Royals. For generations, since the introduction of the bicycle (type) as we know it today, they’ve wholeheartedly embraced it, like the rest of the populace. From King Henry III, Queen Emma, Wilhelmina, Juliana to current reigning Queen Beatrix, each and everyone of them, including their spouses, have not just posed with a bicycle for photo ops, but indeed actively used it on a regular basis. It also made it easy for them to blend in sort of anonymously when they decided to escape the royal confines.
The next in line for the throne, Prince Willem-Alexander is no different. He and his wife Maxima proudly carry on the Dutch tradition of ‘act normal, then you act crazy enough’.
‘Nuff said. 🙂
Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard on a tandem.
Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus.
Here’s what happens when three teens ride around town on one bike, not an uncommon scene in Amsterdam.
- The boy is steering, one girl is on the handlebars, one girl on the back
- All three take turns holding the camera
- The girl on the back also takes turns pedaling
It’s all in Dutch, but you’ll understand the fooling around vibe. The footage is messy, but not at all annoying, certainly entertaining. Enjoy.
[PS. Yes, you recognized the street from my last bicycle vlog.]
Filed under: amsterdamize classics, photos, special | Tags: amsterdam, bicycle, classics, cyclists, dutch, history
1896, Sarphatipark. Mr. J.D.B. Biengreber on his new bicycle, while the photographer’s sons watch him go by. Photo by Jacob Olie.
1905, Man with bicycle and butter trader ‘De Eendracht’ at Amstelveld market, faced towards Kerkstraat. Photo by J.L. Scherpenisse.
1906, Rembrandt Parties, decorated bicycles for flower corso in Vondelpark. Photo by Josephus Nuss.
1906, woman on bicycle, child on bicycle in the distance, in the direction of Naarden-Bussum. A woman is selling second hand clothes on the side of the road. Photo by J.L. Scherpenisse.
See more in the Amsterdamize Classics : 1895 – 1910 photo set.
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]
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos, special | Tags: dutch, history, netherlands, vintage
I just have to post these vintage photos. The first one, a color(!) photo from 1953, depicting a group of cycling boy scouts pausing at a windmill, presumably reviewing the next stage of their trip. The second is from the 1930’s, part of the Zylstra family album, capturing two family members riding side by side, along an Amsterdam canal I can’t yet place, but I’m on it.
One observation: bicycling and accompanying attire hasn’t really changed at all.
As a history buff, I dwell on this stuff.
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos | Tags: amsterdam, bikes, commute, dutch, photos
See more in the City Cycle Chic Fabric photoset.