Tag Archives: bike

AMSTERDAM TO HAARLEM – with bike and smartphone

Bring it on! Trucks and planes are no bother.   I have my own cycle path.

Bring it on! Trucks and planes will not bother me. I have my own cycle path.

The joys of living in Amsterdam. It’s a fine day, I need some exercise and I have the afternoon free. One of the most beautiful small towns in the world is an hour away by bike.

I don’t need a helmet, I’m not wearing lycra and this time I’m not even taking a camera. The phone in my pocket will do the job. Continue reading


Filed under Amsterdam, Cycle touring, Cycling

RIDING NORTH – from Amsterdam to Hoorn

A car-free road, a sunny day and a tailwind!

A car-free road, a sunny day and a tailwind!

A cool but fine autumn day. Indian summer in Nederland. Surely it can’t last much longer. Must make the most of it. Drop everything. Get out on the bike.

There’s a stiff southerly blowing, adding a wind chill factor to the 10 degree temperature. I decide to ride with it for once, heading north out of Amsterdam, without any particular destination in mind. It doesn’t matter. This is classic North Holland countryside; fields cut by drainage canals, flocks of geese and families of swans, sheep and cows grazing…and a few one-off surprises. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland

AMSTERDAM TO NAARDEN – a fine spring cycle

By the Amstel River. 'Amster-dam' = 'Dam on the Amstel', remember?

By the Amstel River. ‘Amster-dam’ = ‘Dam on the Amstel’, remember?

We’ve just arrived back in Holland, the breeze is gentle and the rain won’t be with us for two more days. So what better way to fight the jetlag than a ride through the Dutch countryside?

One of the most hit-on posts on this blog is my brief list of Holland’s Prettiest Villages. I decided I’d see how many of them I could manage to ride around in a day. My route took me through Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Abcoude, Weesp, Naarden, Muiden and back to Amsterdam. A respectable 72kms, plus a few where I forgot to switch the computer back on.

If that seems a bit energetic for Day 1 in the saddle, let me confess up front that Mevrouw T kindly offered me use of her electric bike. I know, that’s cheating, but we thought the beast should be tested again, before we take it farther afield.

It was indeed a lovely ride, and the bike’s electric booster left me energy over for photography. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland


Dutch King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima on their way to watch the speedskating in Sochi.

Dutch King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima on their way to watch the speedskating in Sochi.

Okay, the orange bikes are probably being provided by Dutch taxpayers, and the shot may be a strategically placed PR photo op.

But you have to like the idea that they thought it was a good idea. All it needs now is for the guys in the middle to be holding hands and discreetly waving rainbow flags…


Filed under Cycling


'Forever' by Ai Wei Wei

‘Forever’ by Ai Wei Wei

Ai Wei Wei may be China’s best known artist. I say that only because I know his work, from the Tate Modern in London and the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.

I was very pleased to see him included in what’s become for us an unmissable biennial Amsterdam event, Art Zuid. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Holland


Mevrouw T’s bike was stolen last week.

Pouring rain, a dash into the supermarket, forgetting to fasten the lock, remembering too late, a dash out of the supermarket, a desperate search of the bike racks, questions to bystanders (who naturally saw nothing)…and a long walk home. In the rain.

It wasn’t only the bike she lost, and the just-purchased lunch of Hollandse Nieuwe herring she had in the saddlebag; self-respect and faith in humanity were stolen too. ‘How could I be so stupid?’ was closely followed by ‘How could anyone be so mean?’ and ‘What sort of sick town/society/world do we live in?’

Bicycle theft is falling from its highs in the early 2000s, but is still the most common crime in Amsterdam. I did some research on the figures. Sobering reading.
Continue reading


Filed under Cycling, Holland