Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A quick peak at the bike scene in Amsterdam, Bruges and Paris

Everything that I had heard about Amsterdam and bicycles turned out to be true. Dedicated bike lanes, most of the time separated by barriers from traffic. Bicyclists even have their own traffic lights.

There was a parking lot/parkade outside the train station that was incredibly packed with thousands of bikes.

All over the city, you can find bike rentals. You don't pay much for the day and can really see Amsterdam the way it was meant to be seen.

Of course, the Dutch bicycles are very stout and are usually single speed.

It is extremely flat and when you do encounter a rise in the road, you really know it riding these bicycles. Saw a lot of bakfiets, but saw more Dahon folding bikes there. Here's a bakfiet on steroids:

In Bruges, we rented bikes again. This time, we went out into the country along the canals and explored some windmills and an old church.

The Bruge bikes we rented had 5 gears. My chain came off along the way. Every bike I saw in Europe had chain guards on them. It's great but it can kind of slow you down in traffic when your putting your chain back on. The best thing about biking in Belgium is their beer.

I finally get the connection between New Belgium Brewing and their support of bicycling.

In Paris, there was the famous Velibe bicycle rental system.

I have to admit the traffic was a little daunting. Their idea of a bike lane is one that is shared with taxis and buses! And motorists make their own rules. Sarah got a dirty look and a Gallic shrug (the only one we witnessed) from a motorcyclist as he hopped the curb onto the sidewalk and she happened to be walking where he wanted to motor.

We never did turn a peddle in Paris. Walking and the Metro worked great though.

In Reims, they had set up a little museum in honor of the TDF's impending arrival with some interesting bicycles from the past.

We watched the finish of the fourth stage.

Yes, we noticed that the flag was backwards and fixed it before Tyler Farrar finished. Still, people didn't seem to recognize our state flag. Even when Ike wore it as a cape.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post, love the three seater bike.