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Monday, April 30, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: Biking in Amsterdam

I'd love to share our Amsterdam photos later this week, but in the meantime, want to see some crazy photos of bikes in Amsterdam?

When turning, people would just put one hand casually down on that side, or point to the ground to the left or right of them:
We saw lots of couples on dates, where the girls were riding sideways on the back of their boyfriends' bikes. It looks cute and charming, although my friend Penny, who lives there, said that it feels like a horribly uncomfortable half-body ab workout:)
We saw people carrying crazy things:

We saw people biking with dogs in their front baskets:

More below...

And, most of all, we saw families on bikes--often three or four kids on a bike with one parent!


Other things we noticed about biking in Amsterdam:
* No one wears helmets, not even kids.
* People do everything while riding bikes: hold up umbrellas in the rain, eat sandwiches, smoke cigarettes, listen to music, talk on the phone, hold hands with their friend cycling next to them...
* Bikes rule the roads, even more than cars! Drivers watch very carefully for bikes, and pedestrians stay clear of the bike lanes. If there's any question about who has right of way, it generally goes to the bike.
* There are big bike paths on pretty much every street in the city.
* The Netherlands has more bikes than people! The population is 16.7 million people, yet there are 18 million bikes.

We loved biking around Amsterdam--what a rad city!

(Photos from the brilliant Amsterdamize, Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Ottsworld)

141 comments:

Laura said...

That one guy carrying the heavy object in the second picture is crazy! I bike a lot but never with that kind of thing on my back! More people there should consider wearing a helmet though. Speaking from a bad bike experience, it's worth taking five seconds to put one on!

Heidi said...

I think its awesome and amazing... Wish we had a bike friendly city like that... My native Minneapolis is pretty good, Seattle is even better, but neither remotely compare.
Just with those tikes had on helmets!

Elise said...

wow! I love this! I wish I could bike everywhere but the suburbs aren't set up for that!

Elise
ourdearestfamily.blogspot.com

megan marie said...

If we had such nice bike lanes in the US, I would feel comfortable riding around without a helmet too! Sadly, here in LA cars will NOT give bikes the right of way. It's too bad.

Britt @ The Magnolia Pair said...

THese are so awesome ! I love the dog in the bassinet, that is just priceless! Definitely something I would do !

Melissa Blake said...

It's amazing to see how others in other countries get around! :)

julielarousse said...

great post! can you remind us of that link on how you chose Toby's bike seat? that was a great post too!

Marjolein said...

Glad you liked our little country! And the bicycle-stuff you write about happens all over the country. Seeing all of this through your eyes makes me appreciate it even more to live here. We have a 10 weeks old son and I can't wait to get a 'bakfiets', transporter bicycle, to drive around with him. We have no car and I don't know what I would do without my bike(s).

And yes, it's true: riding on the back of a bike is absolutely romantic and a bit painful :o).
xx from The Netherlands,
Marjolein

Polly Rowan said...

wow that's so cool! wish bikes were used like that everywhere. yes it's a bit dangerous to do those things... but if people look out for bikes as well as they look out for other people walking around, then I don't really see a problem! x

Giselle said...

I recently read an article about tourists biking in Amsterdam and getting in the way of the Dutch locals. Apparently tourists can cause real traffic jams for the Dutch who are incredibly adept on their bikes. In fact they want the government/city council to have 'tourist only' cycle areas.

Lisa said...

I had no idea! And no helmets?! Maybe it's actually safer to bike there because they are so used to it. Very interesting. Boston is becoming more of a biking city every year. I'll be looking out to see whole families on bikes! : )

Nessa said...

Love this post. Brilliant photos!

Lemanie said...

This is so cool! I had a friend come from Austria recently and the first thing she wanted to buy was a bike when she got to NY. But I live in the suburbs and she couldn't understand why things were so far apart that you would have to buy a car instead of a bike. From these pictures I now realize how dominant bike usuage is in Eastern Europe! I'm jealous! They must all have some killer legs!! =)

Lemanie's Randomness Blog

Lindsay said...

Oh how lovely. But that terrifies me that the children have no helmets. Makes me sad. :(

Joanna Goddard said...

megan marie, yes, in NYC, too -- even in the bike path, there are a million taxis, parked cars, delivery trucks, pedestrians, bikes going the wrong way, etc...haha, it's definitely every man for himself! :)

Joanna Goddard said...

julielarousse, yes! of course, here you are:) xoxo
http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2011/10/motherhood-mondays-riding-bikes-with.html

Salut, Shoshana! said...

Bike city indeed!!!!!! I saw someone there moving house on their bike, literally, lol. And bikes chained to the canals tell you how precious they are. Striking!!! Can't wait to see more of your pics? I'm off to my bike class (yes, that means I'm learning to ride a bike:)

nicole said...

Ha! My dog is the spitting image of that dog in the basket. So, of course, I LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing! xo.

ElsaD said...

Great pics! I look forward to seeign the rest of them! :) xoxo

brenda said...

Love these pictures so much. We brought our bikes with us from Ireland when we moved here. We bike a lot. Those family shots are great, I particularly love the one with the stroller on the back. Our littlest one is 21 months and when we want to stop and explore sometimes I don't feel like using his backpack to carry him after a long cycle so this has inspired me. Thanks for posting these I am looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

Brianna Soloski said...

I don't really know how to ride a bike, but I'd be more willing to invest in one and learn if I lived in a more bike friendly city. Vegas is not a pedestrian/bike friendly city at all, unfortunately.

Bethany said...

It's crazy to me that they don't wear helmets! When I was in Amsterdam in '08, I got lost on a walking tour with my group and was trying to find my way back through the shopping district, which was full of people. I walked out to this big intersection, talking to a friend on my cell phone, and looked for a street sign. There were hundreds of cyclists and cars, and I saw a van hit this guy on his bike from behind. The cyclist flipped off his bike and smacked his head on the pavement - I totally thought he had been killed! I screamed and started crying to my friend on the cell phone... But then, the guy sat up really slowly and looked around - everyone on the street was stopped to look at him - and then he got up, got on his bike, and rode away. The guy in the van was totally stunned and you could tell he was very apologetic, but eventually he drove away too. It all happened so fast! But I'm glad everyone was okay, and eventually I found my way back to my group, although I was a little jittery for the rest of the day.

My Traveling Troop said...

I loved reading this post about all the bikes in Amsterdam! Looks like it's an enjoyable way to get around the city -- much less stressful than driving! I can just imagine riding a bike around that city, feeling the wind in your hair and taking in the sites.

I like riding my bike in the U.S., but only on bike paths. I hate riding on the streets here. It's scary! Drivers and cars don't seem very friendly to people biking on the street.

Cheers,
Kristina

Caroline said...

We were in Amsterdam last week, too, and couldn't believe all the different shapes and sizes of bicycles, baskets, and bells! We saw someone biking to the train station while wheeling a suitcase alongside. What an awesome place!

Mari said...

In Europe, people generally don't wear helmets, and I even spot people without them in London, where I live. London is great for cyclists, the Barclays system is very affordable and convenient for people who live in the Central area. I'd be scared to ride a bike here without a helmet though -- I once saw one of those big double-decker buses knocking down a cyclist in Bishopsgate. Scary!

Georgine Jeffries said...

My great aunt bikes to her village almost every day in Holland!! I was amazed, when I went to visit her she was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up, and she was right, we biked for hours!! I love Dutch bicycles too, the seats are large and cushy like sofa cushions. Can't wait to hear all about your adventures, post lots of pictures!

kelly ashworth said...

We were in Amsterdam last fall and loved seeing all the bikes! But the no helmet thing really left me uneasy...especially when there are babes and littles involved!

Patricia Villamil said...

What sold me was the babywearing while biking, now that's awesome!

Kate! said...

This is not even real life. Haha I love biking, but I have enough trouble keeping myself upright, let alone a cart-full of kids! Can't wait to see the rest of your pictures!

MissMorgan said...

What fun! I used to ride around town with my sister in a baby carrier on my chest when she was a baby. It was very convenient!
Morgan
toughlaces.blogspot.com

AVY said...

I love biking but I would never dare do it in New York, of fear of getting killed.


/Avy

http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

Beki said...

This makes me miss living in Amsterdam! When I biked in the mornings, my favorite part of the journey was watching parents drop of their kids at daycare on their bikes. They would ride up to the place, place their foot down, hand over their child to the daycare worker, give a kiss goodbye, and then continue riding on, in their suit and with a briefcase strapped to the back. It's so much better than SUVs in LA!

Robyn said...

amazing!(and amazing photos!)
like boda-bodas here in Africa-but I have never seen a double bass being carried...3 children is a bit much too....ahhhh scary...but great!

Ana F. said...

Oh my! Some of these pictures look incredibly dangerous!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Marjolein, it's nice to see and appreciate your country through somebody else's eyes.
Nobody here wears helmets, well you see it more for young children who are learning to bike themselves.
Myra

Daydream Believer said...

I can't wait to hear about your trip. My husband and I were in Amsterdam for Easter. My favorite part was the Red Light District; I was absolutely fascinated. The prostitutes there have their own union!

House of Hemingway said...

I must admit that some of those pictures with so many children or dogs hanging off the edge were pretty scary but to think that they do this on a daily basis.... it's a life style. An awesome lifestyle at that.

Thanks for sharing!

www.houseofhemingway.com

HiLLjO said...

Love the multi-kid bikes and the dogs!!!

LC Taylor said...

These are incredible photos! The guy with the stand-up bass on his back and the dog on the front of his bike is unbelievable! Thanks for sharing... Can't wait to see your pics too!

Anonymous said...

I truly love seeing families riding together, minus the kiddos without helmets. Reminds me of Davis, CA "The Bicycle Capital of the US". :)

Kassie said...

What cool photos! Makes me want to hop on my cruiser with everybody I know!

S. said...

I love it! i hope has been wonderful trip :D

hello, Friday said...

Have fun! Bike ride in Amsterdam sounds so cool. xoxo
http://www.hellohellofriday.com/

Aubrey said...

It's amazing to see the multiple children families on a bike. Like a tetris game! NPR recently did a story on people not wearing helmets in Amsterdam. Turns out the government is afraid to enforce a helmet law as it would discourage people from biking for some reason. A lot of the citizens they interviewed said it was mostly for ascetic reasons. :/

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i have tried (and failed) to do the sitting-on-the-back-of-the-bike thing. yes, it is an ab workout, indeed.

and while i don't have experience living in amdam, i can attest to the no helmet thing in austria and germany too (at least in cities i've lived). interesting.

ethanollie said...

it's near to this here in Portland with entire roads reserved for bike traffic, although not quite to this level. the families traveling all on one bike....fantastic!

natalie said...

I'm obsessed with and extremely jealous of their bicycling culture.
I can't wait to hear more about your trip!

p.s. I read a statistic that said you are more likely to die of murder in the US than cycling in the Netherlands.

Sarah Bosserman said...

What an interesting, and healthy culture! I think we could learn from these people! Of course, I'm from Portland, but we're not into like this! :)

Sarah

http://lifewithsarahb.blogspot.com/

Megan said...

A former boyfriend once picked me up from work on a commuter bike from Amsterdam and rode me all the way home - 13 miles! - sitting kind of side saddle, like above.

It was nighttime, and I was *terrified* at first, but as I settled in, it was the best thing in the cruise through different Chicago neighborhoods at that pace. One of the most romantic 'dates' I've ever had.

Audrey said...

Oh i have smile about this, so lovely to see this from an other view. To us, it's so normal and a huge part of our daily lives. Beautiful pictures!! can't wait to see the rest of it.
I Hope you and your family had a great time in A'dam!?

Audrey

Amy Turman said...

Oh yes, between the bikes and the trams in Amsterdam you really have to look both ways before crossing the street! I love a city that is so green and conscious.

xoxo,
mon amy

kitten roar said...

this is SO awesome. if it wasn't raining outside and being dreary, i would probably hop on my bike right now to ride to class.

i wish riding in chicago was as leisurely as this appears to be though...I spend most of my bike riding time having a heart attack and trying to avoid potholes while also trying to avoid being hit by a car (they pay very minimal attention to bikers here! my roommate was in a horrific bike accident last summer, and i know too many people who have gotten doored or sideswiped.)

i wonder how they manage their balance with all of those children and cellos? :)

Mary Elizabeth Liberty said...

such great pics, I've seen lots of pics out of folks visiting Amsterdam and sort of expected more of the same but these are new-to-me scenes. Those parents /caregivers are so impressive!

A FANCY DAY said...

It really is a bike cit. That's so crazy! I would love this I wish I could ride my bike everywhere!

Ladies Holiday said...

This made my day...seeing the delighted look of those smiling faces...Re-Tweeted! I want to pedal!

Kate said...

"* Bikes rule the roads, even more than cars! Drivers watch very carefully for bikes, and pedestrians stay clear of the bike lanes. If there's any question about who has right of way, it generally goes to the bike." That's why they don't need helmets! Here, even in my small town, cars seem to think bikes are a side note. Sigh. Lots of safety extras and vigilance necessary ici.

Katie Ann said...

Oh what memories! When I went to Amsterdam, bikes were one of my favorite things! A couple observations about the photos you found: I LOVE that in one of the photos with a mother and daughter, the daughter is carrying a unicycle in her lap! AND, the woman riding in the park with a white scarf and jacket looks absolutely flawless while perusing with her adorable daughter sitting behind the handlebars. OH MY GOODNESS, I need to go back!

Katie

Katie said...

http://katie-randomnest.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/bikes-of-antwerp.html
We recently went to Antwerp- another city were bikes are THE mode of transport too. Great pics!

Ana Magdalena said...

I need to go there someday

www.therecordologist.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

I love this..I was just talking about where we could take our first overseas family trip..now amsterdam is a frontrunner:) It just looks so free, easy and cool. Love it.

Danie at Pasadya said...

This is too awesome! We'll definitely have to go to Amsterdam.

Anne said...

I love seeing Amsterdam through your eyes (as I'm Dutch)! I never realized children don't wear helmets, until we had our baby in France, where it is NOT done to not have your child wear a helmet. And rightly so. However it is still strange to me to see adults wearing helmets when riding a bike, here in France. I do miss my home country when looking at these pictures! Can't wait to see more.

Amielle said...

Oh my goodness. That's absolutely amazing! It reminds me a little of scooters in Taiwan. Parents will have three kids on a small scooter and it was definitely a bit of a culture shock. These pictures are all amazing. Thank you for sharing. :)

Salt Lake Lovely said...

In the picture where the guy is carrying that instrument or whatever giant object, is that a bear cub in the front? lol it\dk if it's a dog, bear, or something else and my eyes are tricking me. I would LOVE to live where cars actually looked for bikers. By me there are accidents all the time, sad and scary.

michal said...

funny story- while we were in amsterdam we went into a bike shop to look at some of the elaborate bikes. my aunt was completely enamored with one, and she said to the salesman, "we don't get bikes like these where we're from!" the guy said, "where are you visiting from?" and she said "the united states." and he looked at her flatly and said "these were manufactured in california." she was so embarrassed and we laughed for days.

17 Perth said...

I love this----so creative and awesome!!

Bridget said...

I love the pictures. We live in SF and bike everywhere- we even bike our kids around- only it isn't as common and we look a little crazy for it! Thanks for the inspirational photos.

Lindsey Arotin said...

All these shots of people freely biking, no helmet, cruising style reminds me of the free-spirted sense I felt the entire time I was last in Amsterdam. Can't wait to see more pictures!

xo,
Lindsey
http://lindseyarotin.blogspot.com/

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Whenever I see a kid on the back of a bike, I think of ReRun from "The Peanuts."

Hanneke @ Oh beautiful world said...

So funny to read about this. As a Dutchie myself, i find it so normal to take my bike everywhere and carry around all things on the front or the back of my bike :)

Cassandra Marie said...

Oh my legs ache just looking at those photos of the parents toting all their kids around! At least they get a good work out out of it! ;)

King of Madison Avenue said...

This looks so fun! I'm completely jealous that you go to go!

Caroline Royce said...

I went to Amsterdam in 2008 and remember seeing one woman with a baby in a seat on her handlebars, a toddler in a seat behind her, and she was pulling a cart that had at least two more little ones in it. I told this to my boyfriend recently and he didn't believe me! I'll have to show him this post ;)

lisacng said...

I love that about the northern countries! It's just their amazing culture. I'd definitely be scared to that in the U. S. Glad u're enjoying the ppl/bike watching!

Anonymous said...

So funny... I guess everyone who goes to Amsterdam and is into bikes comes backs with photos like these! I was obsessively taking similar photos on my trip there earlier this month. I couldn't get over those 3-seaters, and loved the bakfiets. And people really do do just about everything on their bikes.

Correction, though, which my husband pointed out to me when we were there... the POLICE who ride bikes wear helmets! I didn't see a single regular person, in 8 days, wearing one though. One poster on an older post of yours (and possibly above, but I haven't read all of these comments) was from the Netherlands and commented that helmets are stupid and completely unnecessary in the Netherlands because riding is so safe. I have to disagree with that. Statistics will no doubt show a much lower rate of accidents, with more bikes, fewer cars, and a huge network of dedicated bike lanes. But, accidents do still happen. It's not like it's impossible to fall and hit your head. I'm a competent cyclist who rides are home, yet was taken down by another tourist who made a left turn into my lane, cutting me off, and clipped my handlebars, dragging me down. There were also a number of times I encountered vans and trucks parked in the bike lane, and people on the sidewalks, so I had to veer into the street, riding inches from cars. That said CHANCES ARE, you're not going to fall and hit your head, or get hit. And I found it very freeing to be able to dress normally and ride the bike as transportation, without helmet head when I arrived at my destination! Still, everyone anywhere would do better to wear helmets. There is always risk involved in riding.

wildchild said...

that is just so cool. i love how comfortable they are on their bikes! and when i lived in france this past summer, i saw families with kids all on their bikes too, without kids seats. they were just holding on! i thought it was the funniest thing.

Gewoon Chic said...

I'm Dutch and I loved to bike around with my 2 twin daughters on the bike. I had the supermom feeling when i did all my shopping on the bike with the kids. Now they are 9 years old, have of course their own bike but still want to sit on the back.
This is the way we do our things in Holland !

Louise said...

Absolutely wonderful! A fit and earth friendly city. I love it.

Kate said...

These are such funny photos! I can't wait to see your photos :)

Kate {Something Fabulous}
http://thesomethingfabulous.blogspot.com

{BESO HANDBAGS GIVEAWAY ON MY BLOG!}

elisa said...

These pictures are fantastic! Looks like the perfect city for you, Joanna - quirky and bike-friendly.

Amanda Z. said...

I'm totally impressed! And a bit embarrassed that my bike hasn't left my garage in 6 years.

The Tiny Team said...

I love this photo!

kim said...

We're backpacking through Europe, heading to Amsterdam, and this just got us so excited! Biking through a city is such a fun way to see everything. Glad you enjoyed your trip:)

Gabi Manuli said...

I was also in Amsterdam last week, in fact I saw you at the Anne Frank Museum but did not want to sound like a groupie reader and say hello ;)
This bike thing is amazing and I´m planning to do more research on the historical part of it. I saw people riding the bike carrying plants, suitcases, and as you said smoking, eating, and so forth...I also rented a bike and although I was a little but afraid at the beggining, it turned out to be an amazing experience, specially crossing to the North with a ferry. best!

Marcia said...

Lovely photos!
Although to me it's an everyday sight (I live in The Netherlands), it's so nice to see it through someone else's eyes.

What I don't understand is the talk about the helmets.
I'm not going into that though as it will spoil this fun post!

Suzanne Neilen said...

Some time ago there was an discussion here about helmets. I told you no one in the Netherlands wears an helmet. The bike thing is not only in Amsterdam, when you go to other parts of the Netherlands you will see even more bikes.

I always went to school by bike and loved it very much.
In my village the bike have more roads than cars!It's lovely

Valerie (all mussed up) said...

I've been living and biking here in the Netherlands for three years, and I'm still hemming/hawing over the helmet issue....

I love bike-watching, and I love rocking dresses and heels on my fixed gear bike whilst riding along the canals!

Anonymous said...

I think you will find this quora topic about cultural faux pas in Amsterdam interesting. It explains about biking as well.

http://www.quora.com/What-are-some-cultural-faux-pas-in-Amsterdam

{Liana} said...

That's just really cool. Not sure i could ever be brave enough to cart my most precious cargo around on a bike, but I'm sure if I were brought up in a culture that did so I would feel differently!

Elizabeth said...

Really? No helmets? I find that strange! It's probably because the bikes rule the road and every one watches for them. That could be nice. :)

Caz said...

Regarding the no helmets thing - studies have shown that the participation rates of cyclists drops considerably when helmet laws are compulsory. In cities like Amsterdam, where there are so many cyclists and drivers watch out for them, the health benefits of so many people cycling outweighs the small health risk of serious injuries from not wearing one.

In Australia, bike helmets are compulsory for all cyclists, and most cities are not as bike friendly as they could be. Many motorists are too impatient and hate cyclists driving on the road, yet often there's no choice. So you wouldn't catch me riding without a helmet in Australia, because the chance of having an accident is too high! But in somewhere like Amsterdam? Oh the joy of not having helmet hair!

Lisa said...

This looks awesome! I wish Chicago was like that. Could you imagine seeing a parent biking with 3 kids on their bike here in the states?

VintageDanielle said...

The states need to have more of this! I really want to visit now.

Marta said...

I do love seeing these photos of families all on one bike! Just wish I didn't live in such a hilly city, and that it was more cyclist-friendly (Seattle).

As for helmets--they've been non-negotiable in our household for 20 years. When my husband and I were newly married, he was riding on a well-traveled bike path in a college town. He was hit head-on by another cyclist, thrown over the handle bars, landed on his face and was found unconscious (it was a hit-and-run, believe it or not). Paramedics took him to the hospital, where he received stitches and didn't regain consciousness for four hours. He had a severe concussion. According to the ER physician, it was a good thing he had a helmet on--otherwise, he would have sustained a severe head injury or died.

Needless to say, we always wear helmets. Our anecdotal experience proved to me that it doesn't matter if you're nowhere near a car--other cyclists (as well as pedestrians) can be just as careless and unpredictable.

The Cyclist's Wife said...

I love all the families on bikes! That is so rad!!

softpearl said...

I absolutely love all the photos! You captured Amsterdam in those pictures! I live in Texas but I am from Mexico and in the city where I am from there are lots of bike and motorcycle riders. They also ride with children but in Mexico they ride without baskets or seats, they usually just carry their kids on their laps or sitting on the bike bar. I must say the city isn't half as organized for them and most riders are from low income. In Amsterdam it looks like the middle to upper class ride for the fun of it :-) you gave me an idea so next trip to León, Guanajuato, Mexico I will photograph bike riders and share! :)

Erica said...

Looks kind of like all the people on bikes in Japan :)

Nelleke said...

hi joanna,

how nice to read these amsterdam posts about things that amazed you. living here(i lived in a'dam for 4 years) this is all so normal to me. its good to see the little great things about holland through somebody else's eyes, makes me appreciate it all over again!
nelleke
ps. the poo-book is one of my kids favorites! there is a version with pull-outs as well, i can recommend it!

Liz said...

I'm already excited to see Amsterdam through your eyes! After 9 months of living here, these things feel normal now, but it's so true - the Dutch & their bikes are crazy! I am getting better and better on mine, but still have a long way to go before I eat a sandwich and go for a ride :) It started downpouring on me the other night and I tried to be a cool Amsterdammer and hold an umbrella while biking - yeah.. didn't work out so well as soon as the wind picked up I nearly flew off my bike!! Looking forward to seeing your photos and hearing more about your adventures!

Banners Portland said...

Fabulous photos! Love them!

Liz said...

I agree with all the other Dutch people here, it's a lot of fun to see my country through your eyes. I love your open outlook on things and that you can be charmed by differences. Keep up the good work Joanna! Love it!

Judy said...

Hi; what a nice post! And it is all true! I live in the Netherlands and what you see in Amsterdam: it also is true for every place in the Netherlands! And the thing about the helmets: yes, we don't wear them. If you see someone cycle with a helmet, it probably is a tourist. It is not a 'bad habit' not wearing one, it is just something we are not used to. In the Netherlands you first learn walking and when you are about three years old you learn how to bike; it is part of our living. Everybody feels very sure and comfortable and we are hardly scared. You can almost compare it when you would wear a helmet while you are driving a car; stupid ;-)

Eleonoor said...

These pictures make me fall in love with my country all over again. I've always said that if I had to give one reason why I love The Netherlands, it's all the biking.
Just last week I won a bet with someone who didn't think I could apply my mascara whilst biking (and whilst having had quite a bit to drink) of course I could! I'm Dutch!
Wonderful pictures!

Kirsten said...

I love the bike photos! They are so great! It makes me wish the USA was a more bike friendly country.

M-J Obsessions said...

When I lived in Japan, I used to bike everywhere. I thought I would hate it, but ended up loving it, it's so much fun, and you are getting exercise without noticing it. But these pictures are amazing as people are carrying so many kids on the bike with them.

P.S. no one in Japan ever wear a helmet either.

Judy said...

@ Eleonoor: that' s the spirit ;-)

Alex said...

I visited the Netherlands for the first time last year, and I brought my foldable bicycle along. I was so glad I decided to travel with it - riding in Amsterdam (and the whole country really) was one of the best cycling experiences I have ever had.

Elena said...

I live in Cambridge (UK) and you certainly see people carrying all sorts of things on their bikes - guitars, duvets, groceries hanging off the handle bars... We're awful at wearing helmets too! Naughty of us really.

Cycling is something I think we’re really lucky to do here in Cambridge and is one thing I plan on blogging about a bit more often on my new blog... www.randomlyhappytoday.blogspot.co.uk

Thanks again for a great blog.

Best,

Elena

Kelli Anderson said...

SO crazy awesome! i'm very intrigued by the netherlands.

Traveling Mama said...

We share a similar biking culture here in Copenhagen and I absolutely LOVE it!! We commute almost daily by bike (I have a modern Trio Bike which has a place for 2-3 kids to sit in the front.) Whether the sun is shining or it's snowing, we are on our bikes! While we visited our family for Christmas in the States, it was so weird to drive everywhere and we really missed our bikes!

American Mom in Bordeaux said...

Love the photos - so cool! Nice to see how bikes rule!

Rebecca C. said...

How cool is that! I loved this post, Joanna.

John said...

Love the photos - so cool! Nice to see how bikes rule!

Buy Vans

Nikki said...

Be that's a great way to lose baby weight.

Maartje said...

I love the way non Dutchies look at our crazy bike-life! For us it's just so normal :) I once had two Americain clients and whe we took them out for drinks they had to jump on the back of our bikes. They were scared to death at first but after a few minutes they loved it and claimed it to be one of their best Amsterdam experiences. So when you're in Amsterdam just try it, find a nice Dutch (Guy ;) !) and go for a spin on the back of a bike. It's fun (and barely dangerous, I promise!)

Simone said...

When I lived in Frankfurt I bought a bike to get around on and it was the best thing I ever did. They have bike lanes on the roads as well there. There's one point where you are riding between two car lanes! Yet, no wears a helmet and I felt completely safe. Now back in Sydney I wouldn't even go on the roads with a bike let alone without a helmet.

Outfit 44 said...

I love the Dutch bike culture. I wish North America was a little less uptight about biking (and other things). It's nice to see families riding around in all ways - a lifestyle that is free, fun and traditional.

sweet harvest moon said...

This is one of my favorite things about Amsterdam

Jennifer said...

Don't forget the most Dutch thing of all: cycling in the rain while holding an umbrella. :)

Vang said...

These are great photos! I have 3 young kids and I wish it was easier for me to bike with them. I've looked at the bakfiet, but it's completely out of my price range. It looks like such fun to be able to bike with kids!

veggicurious.com said...

I LOVED biking in Amersterdam, and all around Holland. When people look at these pictures they don't understand the dedicated lanes there, literally, they are separated from cars, you can turn without any worry of onslaught - its like a whole new biking world. People bike there with their children on the front and without helmets because they are protected and its safe.

helena said...

Avoid leaving your beach cruiser out in the rain or outside overnight if dew is a possibility for the next morning.

Schwinn

Edward said...

The Dutch do not wear helmets because they know that cycling is not a dangerous activity. I do not understand the ridiculous obsession in English-speaking countries with bicycle helmets. More people suffer head injuries from falling off ladders and being tripped up by their pets than they do from falling off bicycles. And there are many more people who suffer head injuries from car accidents. Why is there no call for helmets for those activities? It is ridiculous.

Katie said...

the pictures with the bikes loaded with kids reminds me of my family, living in holland. my parents had five kids under the age of seven, and it was common for my mum to load up three of us on her bike.

Kate said...

I was there a few years ago and was stunned that I don't think I saw one single person wearing a helmet. Truth be told I thought that was kind of cool. I also noticed how nobody made a big deal if they had a close call with someone - no screaming or cursing or middle fingers. Just a nonchalant *ring ring* of the bell and on with their day. Totally different from the east coast, that's for sure!

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Chrystina said...

Who knew there were so many ways to customize bicycle riding? Awesome shots.

Anonymous said...

Even considering how safe it is over there for bikes, it is dumb not to wear a helmet. A single fall can simply kill a child or give you/them brain damage for the rest of your life. Accidents happen, and a helmet would save lifes. I would not take even a small chance of killing myself or my children by just thinking its unfasionable to wear a helmet.

Kate said...

My boyfriend lived in Holland for a while and this post reminded me of all the times I used to ride sideways on the back of his bike. It was so much fun, but your friend is right, it really is uncomfortable and I always felt so sorry for him when he had to cycle up hills, I'd just cheer him on from my little perch!

Wende said...

Hi Joanna,
Very nice to read about how you experienced Amsterdam while staying in my houseboat. It is true we ride bikes like crazy. I especially had a gigle about all the comments on how people thing we are dumb not wearing helmets. I guess they're right ....
We are a stubborn little country and I welcome all the people who come and enjoy our quirkiness.
Glad you enjoyed your stay, keep travelling!
Wends

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Colorado, my friends and I alternated between rollarblading, walking, and riding our bikes to school, without helmets; we only lived about half a mile away from our elementary and middle schools, which were across the street from each other.

I felt independent, travelling to and from school without my parents.

Now, as an adult, I wear a helmet whenever I ride my bike because drivers drive their cars in a dangerous manner and I don't want to be killed by them.

Willow Rosenberg said...

It's not just that it's unfashionable though. I live in a small town not very far from Amsterdam, and I'm in my last year of high school. I have to cycle 13 km to get to school each day (and then I have to cycle back again at the end of the day). Most kids go to school on their bikes. There's just wouldn't be enough space to store all those helmets if everybody wore them (Dutch schools have really small lockers, much smaller than they have in the States). That means we'd have to carry our helmets around all the time, and that would just be impractical.

It's not just schools, either. Going shopping while carrying a helmet with you? I don't really think that'd work.

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MerelM said...

Love your phot's & blog! So nice to read you were in Amsterdam. I hope you liked it.

I live in Amsterdam and honestly, I think it's pretty stupid to bike around with your kids without a helmet on. Especially very little ones! It's true, bikers do make the rules, but a car or a van is always bigger, harder, faster & stronger so in the end, the one on the bike will pay the price. Many people get killed on their bike in this city, also kids. Please dear parents, buy your kids helmets!!

Johan Basteri said...

Nice idea to biking in Amsterdam

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Gibberdoon said...

I love your web page, it's so inspiring. We're going on a biking holiday with our 18 month old son to France and can't wait to try out the Weeride which I only heard about because of your page. Thank you :-)

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nurunnahar470@gmail.com said...

Wie of wat u ook wilt (laten) vervoeren: personen, documenten of pakketten, Wie of wat u ook wilt (laten) vervoeren: personen, documenten of pakketten, bij Marcus bent u altijd aan het goede adres. Onze gestage groei danken wij aan een hoge mate van klanttevredenheid. Wie die eenmaal heeft ervaren, wil niet meer anders!
www.marcus.nlbij Marcus bent u altijd aan het goede adres. Onze gestage groei danken wij aan een hoge mate van klanttevredenheid. Wie die eenmaal heeft ervaren, wil niet meer anders!
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