Photo (Gallery) of the Week: Bicycles of Amsterdam

To call my decision making regarding the topic of this series arbitrary is a discredit… to the word ‘arbitrary’.

Last night I dreamt of cycling so today you get a gallery of bicycles!

A barge cum Bicycle Rack!

Bikes are everywhere in Amsterdam and the whole city appears to be a utopia for cycling commuters. Flat, well maintained roads. True roadsharing with trams, buses and cars with cycle lanes absolutely everywhere between every road and pavement.

Its a far cry from the local situation with our narrow, hilly roads and single cycle lane stretching the length of the front to the halfway and sharing the narrow pavement with all the pedestrians.. and the bus stops! Oh, and it crosses the entrance and exit of the 2nd busiest car park in the island.

Anyone heading south needs to cross the road to get to it and since there are always some nutters no matter what their choice of transport, its not uncommon to find a cycle sweeping in front of you with no indication.

I see the bikes in Amsterdam as much a part of the identity as the canals. London has double-decker buses, New York has yellow taxis and Amsterdam has bikes.

The words largest bike rack?

Something unique in my travels are the giant bicycle parks dotted around the city. Above is the largest, near Centraal, the main train station. An absolutely huge three tiered jetty dedicated solely to bikes. Another, seen in the panorama above is an old barge moored behind Centraal which has been converted to house hundreds of bikes.

Something told to me during my last trip probably sums it up best. “Everybody in Amsterdam owns two bicycles. One that they ride and one that is broken”.

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