Biking Capital of the World

| November 16, 2008 4:02 pm

by Franz and Anne Kelsch –

We can’t say we have traveled to all places in the world but we have been to many cities on most of the continents.  We remember visiting Beijing, China and seeing all the bikes there.  We rode bikes in the busy streets of Tokyo, but that may not compare with what we saw in Amsterdam.  This is a city that really does have the infrastructure setup to support biking as a way of getting around.

There were dedicated bike lanes, often separated from the street by more than just a painted line.  At some of the intersections these bike roads had their own traffic signals.  You had to be careful walking in the city to make sure you were on the pedestrian walkway and not in the bike lane.

We saw bikes being ridden by all types of people, kids, the elderly, business men and women, college students. The bikes were quite different than what you see in the US.  These were not bikes made for racing, but more of a utility nature.  They were kind of heavy and clunky, similar to what we used to see when we lived in Japan.  But these bikes were often setup to carry things, including multiple people.  Some had two passenger seats behind the drivers seat.  Or as in this one, a small child up front and another behind.  No one was wearing a helmet, however.  Not sure how safe this type of riding is.

Here is something that we first thought was a bike truck.

But this type of bike was often used to haul kids that were placed upfront.

There are so many bikes in the city that they had this multilevel parking garage at the main train station, just for bikes.

And people were riding the bikes both day and night.   It was truly an amazing bicycle city.

2 Responses to “Biking Capital of the World”

Alison Chaiken wrote a comment on November 21, 2008

Awesome pics, especially the bike parking. I was just in U.K. riding and now feel guilty that I didn’t take more cycling photos. You guys continue to inspire!

jerry wrote a comment on November 25, 2008

Great pictures Franz.

You may not know that I was born in Holland and lived there until I was 9 years old. I still have memories of my Grandmother riding her bike in the snow to come over for a visit.

I’ve been back a few times and continue to wonder how people find their bike in those bicycle parking lots. The bikes all look the same!

— vagabond jerry

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