Amsterdamize Bicycle TV : Around The Block
July 24, 2008, 12:31 am
Filed under: amsterdamize, bicycle tv, my bike, video | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve reached the final stage of moving blogs, which means that most of you won’t be able to load them, due to DNS changes that will be finalized tomorrow. Hence, I’m putting today’s post up here as well. Thanks to Nicholas for alerting me.

The summer returned today after 3 weeks of rain. A good reason to take a detour around the block while shopping for groceries and flip out the phone camera.

Camera: Nokia N95
Color correction/distortion was applied


Good Neighbors
July 19, 2008, 7:39 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos | Tags: , ,

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).

Good neighbours

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.)

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.

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.




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?”

European Cycle Chic Round Off
July 7, 2008, 5:50 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, Europe, photos | Tags: , , ,

[Cycle Chic: riding a bike in normal clothes, on a normal bike, preferably for commuting purposes]

In no particular order: London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Bern, Vienna, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Athens and vicinity.

Feel free to e-mail your own (links to) cycle photos to Amsterdamize, see the menu bar on the top left for the address.

Amsterdamize Photo Sunday
June 22, 2008, 5:28 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos | Tags: , , , , ,

Amsterdamize Photo Sunday
Cycle powered Tourist Info Center on Leidseplein. Free maps and help with directions. Fine work.

Amsterdamize Photo Sunday
A bike taxi easing through.

Amsterdamize Photo Sunday
It’s pretty clear who lives at nr 4a. Striking color match between bike and street art.

See more here.

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.