Showing posts from September, 2013

Cycling in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, City of bikes!

Owning a transportation-focused bike shop means that every so often someone asks "Have you been to Amsterdam? Copenhagen? Gronigen?" to which, until recently, I'd have to admit "No, not yet."  (Nadia has been here before)  Well, I can finally cross one of the worlds bike cities off my list and start making plans to see the next.

Amsterdam was amazing.  Yes, there are bikes and bike lanes everywhere.  It was quite chaotic when you first step out of the Central Station, especially for this Canadian lad.  One of the first sights you are greeted by is the massive bicycle parking garage adjacent to the train station which is quickly followed by people on bikes, on foot, in cars, and on trams, going in every direction all at the same time.  You very quickly realize that it's best to put your head on a swivel and look both ways before you do anything lest you be run over by a bicycle or motor scooter (more on scooters later).

We hopped i…

Cycling in Paris

Paris, the city of lights, the city of lovers, and the city of crazy bike infrastructure!

We arrived in Paris via the Paris East train station. Emerging from the station you are immediately greeted with a huge Velib kiosk, as well as plenty of noisy scooter and car traffic.  Bike lanes are not that easy to spot but there are bikes everywhere mixed in with the chaos on the roads.  Travelling to the hotel by taxi we were both more than a little concerned what cycling in Paris might be like.

As it turned out, there was no need to worry.

First thing the next morning a set about digging through the internet trying to find a map of the bike routes through the city and was defeated at every turn.  No matter how many ways I tried to find the info online it seemed that there was no maps to use.  Info found online mentioned there was a paper map available at the Hotel de Ville (aka, city hall) but we were never able to source one from there.  I did eventually find an app that routed you along…

Chainguards of Paris

One cannot help notice the vast number of old, rusting city bikes still in daily use when cycling around Paris. While most of the bikes would probably be considered junkers over here, over there, they are trusty daily transportation for hundreds of thousands of Parisiens.

Most of those rustbuckets also have chainguards on them and I had to snap a few photos of some of the more interesting models we saw while exploring Paris.


(kinda makes you want to put one on your bike too I bet)