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Amsterdam Bikes

May 20, 2010

I just couldn’t believe the amount of bikes that I saw in The Netherlands! It’s one of those things that really brought home for me the fact that time has passed and that I’m not so used anymore to things that were completely normal for me once upon a time.

I was struck, too, by the creativity that people had lavished on their bikes. I photographed a couple, just for fun. And then I kept taking photos of every bike that stood out to me. It may say something about the relationship between the Dutch and their bikes that there were quite a few decorated bikes. But also, I think, it’s a bit of an approach to life – to play and have fun with your environment, to look at your bike not just as a functional object, but as something that becomes a bit of self-expression. Also, it reminded me not to take decorating too seriously. Some of the bikes that I really liked looked like they somebody just slapped some paint onto them, which for at least one of them was probably literally the case. But I really enjoyed the overall effect and joie the vivre expressed in this gesture and when I got home, it made me think of what objects I can take and decorate with that same attitude.

So, here is for your enjoyment my collections of Amsterdam bikes:

A whole family can fit on this bike! Pedals for three people and two extra seats.

Added functionality: Many bikes had crates attached to the front instead of baskets.

I loved this bike which was splashed with paint.

Also popular: A larger wooden addition to the front of the bike to take stuff or children along for the ride.

Always be prepared: Handy dandy plasic covering to keep stuff or children dry in the rain.

This is how it looks in action. So cute!

Wherever you look bikes are parked haphazardly in groups. And scooters are popular too.

Cute saddle cover.

Shabby Chic bike.

Polka dots and flowers. Love!

Leopard print! This made me think of my friend Eriika.

Very Dutch.

Featured for the second time: The bike from the Noordermarkt. I thought this one was very abundant - orange and yellow paint, flowers on the back and front and not one, but two crates!

This one has a more demure approach, but is still fun.

And the final one, taken minutes before getting on a train on the last day I spent in downtown Amsterdam. I like the green and blue pattern.

Wishing you a lovely day, may it be filled with creativity and reminders to play and make your environment fun.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2010 4:44 am

    I love them all! Thanks for the reminders. Why can’t life be both functional and beautiful???

  2. May 21, 2010 5:46 am

    that’s a crazy amount of bikes! I wish it were like that everywhere! thanks for showing them- I love seeing all the variations! xo nat

  3. May 25, 2010 1:26 pm

    O Jedid, I love your blogs!! And those bikes are indeed amazing, o how I miss my hometown!! Although people love to cycle in Cambridge as well, people covered in special cycling helmets, special cycling jackets, special cycling bracelets do get a bit boring to look at!

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