We rented our bikes for the day from Mac Bike – friendly, helpful staff – all Amsterdam. We got to talking and I mentioned Bike Hugger, so they have a look at our blog and what’s the first thing they see? Mark’s Knog Porn post – nice! We fit right in here in this town.
Amsterdamize was our informative guide and rode with us around the concentric canal streets stopping for coffee twice, through the Red Light District waving at girls in windows and stoners; and then stopped to check the trippy Tuschinski Art-Deco theater.
Later we meetup with the crew at Work Cycles. Work Cycles is the exporter for Bakfiets in the USA via Clever Cycles. The shop owner was preparing for the shop’s 5th anniversary. They also sell bikes like this and the furniture mover.
Besides the fact that there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam, we also learned that if you give up your car, they government will subsidize a bike. (That should’be been slipped into the 700 Billion Wall Street bailout!)
Bike the Rythm
In my travel blogging, I often cite “the flow.” That refers to how a city moves and functions and I’ve learned that it’s best to just get into it flow, follow the other cyclists, they know the routes. In Amsterdam, the flow is at a bike’s pace. That doesn’t mean leisurely or just toddling along. The Dutch move their city on bikes. Bike Hugger, magazines, and cyclists often talk about bike culture in the US. In Amsterdam, it’s their way of life, who they are, and just part of what they do. It took me a few hours, but I finally just started absorbing all the bikes; instead of noticing each one with “oh look at that Bakfiet, a Johnny Loco; or whoa, look at that crazy one.”
While writing this post, I asked Pam what she thought of Amsterdam
“cold, wet, sideways rain with lots of coffee; just like Seattle but with 8 hours of jet lag.”
In other words, we felt right at home.