Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Riding in Amsterdam

I've ridden bicycles for most of my life since I was a kid. On four different continents and through all kinds of terrain, weather, etc. But last month, visiting Netherlands for two days I found the most bicycle-friendly city I've seen: Amsterdam!

The infrastructure of most of the city is laid out for #1) bicyclists #2) trams #3) buses #4) pedestrians and well, #5) cars, too. You have from right to left: sidewalk, bike path, car park lane, car/bus lane, tram rails. Traffic lights are often available/in place for cyclists, too. So, since the Dutch have that infrastructure in place it makes it really convenient/easy to use the bicycle as a from of transportation, for commute etc. It also helps that there's close to zero elevation changes throughout the City of Amsterdam.

Here are a few impressions from riding around on town bikes while visiting Amsterdam:

first time I've sat in a bicycle traffic jam!
riding through Vondelpark

one way street with bike path!
You need some heavy locks for your bike in Amsterdam. There are a good amount of bike thieves here.

just another stop light

the morning after: next to Oude Kerk - bikes, beer, party

commuting along (one of the many) canals
restaurant, shopping, & bar? you do it by bicycle in AMS
bike lane in front of the always popular Van Gogh Museum
more riding on the trail South of "Boosban" (a rowing "race" canal)
 good video showing the development of bike paths in The Netherlands:

As they say in The Netherlands: "You call it exercise, we call it a way of life."