Although I fancy outdoor activities in nature (by paddling, hiking, cycling, running etc.), sometimes a city break is a good alternative for day offs. This time I chose the latter.
Spent a long weekend in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Wanted to wander around the city by zig zagging it with a bicycle. Rented a typical city bike and shuffled some days in downtown with thousands of other cyclists.
I was amazed by a huge number of cyclists. In fact a lot more than those by car. They were everywhere, like an invasion. All age, all race, sometimes advancing fast as hell. Although there were separated lanes dedicated for cycling, people rode everywhere, even against traffic on one direction street (and cars gave space of course, nice!). Pedestrians mostly gave space for cyclists when crossing the road, as did cars, solely.
It took a while to get to used to the traffic, i.e. traffic made by cyclists. To increase excitement, one could start to do window shopping while cycling, or just stop on the street to shoot photos. Cycling traffic was in control all the time, very sophisticated cycling I'd say.
I saw no helmets used, not even kids. Made me wonder why.
About bicycles; almost all were based on classic frames. Very little mountain bikes or road bikes. One thing I liked, chaines in the bikes were well oiled and made no awful sound like rusty ones could make. All in all, even bikes looked old fashioned, they were in good condition, well maintained.
One could say that there was a strongly cultivated culture for cycling in the city. Things were made easy and simple, nothing fancy. I admired all that I saw and experienced very much.
Spent about 120km on the saddle. Felt good. See you some day, Amsterdam.
First impressions, bicycles everywhere ...
... there were lanes marked for cycling
Canals and Bicycles
Sights Along The Canals
Men At Work
Against The Rules
Fresh Air (it's free!)