September 25, 2013

Amsterdam Part 2: Dutch Bicycles

Watching Amsterdammers cycle, is the most fascinating thing. If you've never been to Amsterdam, you have to see it for yourself to understand, as just saying its cool to watch people cycle, doesn't really sum up what I mean.

I didn't have the chance, but if I did, I would have taken a photo of every single type of bike and every quirky or unusual thing I've seen on a bike.

For those of you who've never seen it, firstly the bikes are not your standard bikes - they look different too. Some of them have built in buckets front/back, they usually have coaster brakes, some have little covered seats with windows for the kids.. endless varieties. They're not really built for speed, but rather convenience and practicality. Secondly, there are more bicycles in Amsterdam than there are people (no lie) and lastly, I'll give you examples of how I have seen some of them cycle: with an umbrella while its raining, mothers with up to 4 kids on a bike, talking on a mobile phone, walking the dog, or shall I say "running" the dog next to the bike as they cycle, some with crates full of shopping... the list goes on. Come rain or shine (or snow), they will be cycling.

Everyone cycles, from 2 year olds to 75 year olds. A girls' day out - everyone on bicycles, all dressed up.
Bike lanes and bike traffic are everywhere. Cars are pretty minimal on the road.

I'm pretty sure every family has bicycle storage and bicycle history as standard. Perhaps its not the same outside the city centre, I'm not sure, but if you're from Amsterdam, let me know.

Would love to see the canals frozen and watch the ice-skating - the other activity that the Dutch were born to do, but I doubt I'll be able to handle that level of cold.

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