Amsterdamize : Soaking Cycling
July 10, 2008, 12:57 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos | Tags: , , ,

Yesterday I was in London for the day and the city lived up to its reputation, the rain never stopped (I know, the weather will never cease to be a topic of conversation, sigh). I saw a few bikes parked, spotted one daring city cyclist on the road near Wimbledon park, but despite these nasty conditions, that particular British cycle commuter had sort of a Dutch touch to his demeanor: no rain jacket, no poncho, no nothing.

After my return last night I mentioned to a friend that a whole day of non-stop rain is rarely the case in the Netherlands. Yes, it rains a lot, too, but it comes in spades. One moment you’d feel like going to the beach, next thing you know the place is flooding. In short, usually you can’t count on any prediction.

‘Usually’ is the segway to this part of the post. Because, funny thing, today London’s climatic seizure moved here. Jolly. This of course gave me an opportunity to do a photo series on Amsterdam cyclists in the rain:

Soaking Cycling
Ride it out, brother.

Soaking Cycling
Tucked in at the front, cycle chic at the wheel.

Soaking Cycling
Another high tech Amsterdamize solution.

Soaking Cycling
She only ‘popped the hood’ on her sweater.

Soaking Cycling
Optical illusion, it’s still raining.

See more in the Amsterdamize : Soaking Cycling photo set.


Sucking it up
June 12, 2008, 10:45 am
Filed under: amsterdamize, photos, video | Tags: , , , , , ,

Adam sent me the link to a (year old) video of 17 Bicycle‘s (Japan) semi-recumbent bike…introducing the idea to put a roof on it for those pesky rainy days.

The bike itself looks comfortable, fast and easy to control, I’d love to go for a spin. I understand the idea for the roof. The company’s also aiming at the US market, so adding this feature would work well both as a sales gimmick and actually have people interested.

Now, let me get back to my own frame of mind. Biking through the rain isn’t fun. Especially during winters. And don’t get me started about how often I’ve cursed Dutch weather, going from A to B. Always at the worst possible time, often accompanied by gusting winds that would make any Amsterdammer blow a fuse.
But…we don’t know any better. Both the intrinsic (DNA) need to bike and the obvious chance of rain (often out of nowhere!) has firmly conditioned us. Mostly, we DON’T whine about it, and we all remember our childhood, when parents would by default say: “You’re not made of sugar!” (As in: it’s only water, you’re not going to disintegrate). Same goes for snow, you just adapt (It’s fun, too).

So, it’s no surprise if I tell you that the Dutch just bike it off. Yeah, you get wet, but you’ll dry up again. Any attempt to keep completely dry is futile, no matter what you do. Sure, without much wind we’ll carry that umbrella, in other cases we’ll put on a raincoat, or even those sweaty plastic trousers, but since it’s all so distracting and cumbersome, we just don’t bother. We don’t ride any less because of it. We just suck it up.

Not all the time riding bicycle in Amsterdam is fun, originally uploaded by Kromag.

This is how it works in Amsterdam!, originally uploaded by To Tof.

Girl on bike Amsterdam (B&W), originally uploaded by Heorot2107.