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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 04-04-08, 01:27 PM   #1
jamesdenver
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Biking in Amsterdam . Photos and Videos

x-posted in commuting too.

So I spent two weeks recently in the idyllic two wheeled utopia that we all gush about as THE commuter and utility cyclist's paradise.

And yes - it was all that. I rented a bike for my entire stay, and it is easily the best way to get around. The cost of the bike wasn't much more than if I had taken 4-5 trips by tram/bus every day.

Thanks to my VC skills it wasn't hard to get adjusted. I was only initially surprised at actually sharing the road with more than one or two occasional cyclists. Actually queing up behind other cyclists at lights was - well different.

And It was great to visit around to clubs, bars, restaurants, museums, shopping, the grocery store, and anywhere via bike - just like everyone else does. And its a treat when biking home from a bar at 3am and no one thinks you're an eccentric nut, a DUI recipient, or an environmental extremist.

Here's some videos of various streets via bike:
http://www.futuregringo.com/index.ph...terdam-videos/

And some bikes and cycling infrastructure:
http://www.futuregringo.com/index.ph...-in-amsterdam/

Now I just need to return with my road bike and circle the countryside during the summer. The routes outside the city are well marked, and the bike routes that parallel the motorways and cut through farms are top notch.

Watch for tram tracks in the city. Many many tram tracks...

Last edited by jamesdenver; 04-04-08 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 04-04-08, 02:06 PM   #2
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In tears.

That's it, I'm getting a plane ticket.

(Wish I actually could.)
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Old 04-06-08, 04:38 PM   #3
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Boy, that brings back memories. It's been waay too long since I've been pedaling in A'dam. I remember starting out in Oostend and pedaling north along the bike paths to Amsterdam via Rotterdam. Aside from being cobblestone, they were great because they were far from the limited access highways so the air was clean and the scenery was great. And they took me all the way in, from the rural to suburban to the central town.

Then I stayed in the Youth Hostel there, enjoying the Heineken factory tour, the Van Gogh museum, and the May Day celebrations where I saw my first Bakfiets.
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Old 04-06-08, 07:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jamesdenver View Post
And yes - it was all that. I rented a bike for my entire stay, and it is easily the best way to get around. The cost of the bike wasn't much more than if I had taken 4-5 trips by tram/bus every day.
You rented a bike for $150.00 USD but why not just buy a used beater? They don't sell department store bikes? Where all the bikes expensive due to the dollar?

Do the bike paths follow ALL roads? I'm saying this because I might want to bring my GPS but it might prove worthless if the bike paths don't follow the roads.
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Old 04-07-08, 10:50 AM   #5
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Hi Steve. Cost wise you're probably right: I'm sure I could have found one for a bit cheaper. But this place was recommended by the folks who ran the apartment I stayed in, the location was close, and the simplicity was worth it. They also provide locks and maps for trips outside of town. I kept my bike all the way up til the evening before I left, and was sad giving it back.

I think I'm correct in saying every bike has a bike lane, adjacent separated path, or barring both people just bike in the streets without worry. In some of the more pedestrian heavy areas in the city center or narrow alleys its better to walk your bike - but from what I saw in the city there's really no street you can't use follow by bike.

It's the same outside of town. Even following this freeway out to the beach there was a path aside the busy highway the entire length. Also there's more scenic routes (atop dikes and through farms) that are incredibly well marked. (bike sign) vs road sign so its easy to get around outside of the city.


If you visit and do rent I'll give a plug for the place: http://www.bikecity.nl They're in the Jordaan neigbhorhood near the Ann Frank House. Nice folks, and best of all their bikes aren't plastered with logos so you blend in without looking like tourist.

I did get lost in the city a couple times - as its hard to follow a straight line. So a GPS wouldn't be a bad idea. I always use these maps when I travel http://www.futuregringo.com/index.ph...erndtson-maps/. Easy to read and durable.

Thanks for checkin out my pics. Artkansas you are right. It's clean, green, efficient and beautiful. I love this picture of environmentalism. And this quick shot I took of a mom having her two kids do the week's recycling.

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Old 04-07-08, 01:23 PM   #6
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[/URL]
jamesdenver you should have arranged to wave to us from this webcam at a certain time and date before you left:

http://www.eyelogue.com/donniecam.html

When I was there there were some lanes and roads where bikes were forbidden but no one said anything to me on my centraal station bike with the tourist sign on the basket. I think the signs said "Geen fiets" or "Geen fietsen", something like that. I didn't figure it out until I had been there a while. I liked the rough brick lanes along the old dikes. I'm not sure if they were official lanes they weren't marked but they had larger trees alongside and occasionally on older person hiking along.
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Old 04-15-08, 07:47 PM   #7
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My wife wants to live there, and she is physically unable to ride, thus, she has car,,,,,go figure????
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Old 04-15-08, 08:12 PM   #8
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My wife wants to live there, and she is physically unable to ride, thus, she has car,,,,,go figure????
if you can afford to live in or near the city center, you'll do fine even without a bike. it's like manhattan that way: you can walk or take transit to everything more easily than you could drive and park.

when i travel there, often i feel like a bike is too fast. walking a mile in amsterdam is like driving a couple few thousand miles in america in terms of richness of experience.

if you're a bike geek, you won't be able to wipe the smile off your face to see so many people, all walks of life, all ages, all weather, all errands just riding everywhere. but eventually you realize that they aren't really into bikes or biking per se, not anymore than the average driver in the US knows or cares what their car weighs. it's about as exciting as air conditioning in arizona: sure, everybody uses it all the time, but it's a little weird if you want to talk about it or you get misty watching people touch the dials.

that's why i like portland better, as a place to live (i would never turn down a visit to amsterdam). we're nowhere near as far along, but we're more aware of where we're going and why.
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Old 04-15-08, 08:21 PM   #9
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