Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Kyoko Inatome’s Zuidas Blocks

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

kids workcycles KDV and cargobikecarrier to noise ratio

Pascal, sweetheart Billie Divine and a bunch of other kids participate in one of Kyoko Inatome’s performance art pieces. Transportation arranged with the WorkCycles KDV bicycle kiddy bus.

Check out the slideshow:

WorkCycles: Still standing even when you aren’t

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
Paul Steely White has had a long day

Paul Steely White has had a long day

New York celebrity speaker and bike transport advocate Paul Steel White of Transportation Alternatives stood from dawn till dusk on “Drive Your Bike to Work Day” commending bike commuters for their good behavior and imploring them not to join the spawning bike salmon this spring.

Eventually even tireless White couldn’t take it anymore but his WorkCycles Opafiets wasn’t fazed. (Why would it- It’s just a bike!) But rumor has it the Opafiets even continued on for a rendezvous met a certain desirable Omafiets in his neighborhood, saying something about wanting a Brooks saddle.

It’s Drive Your Bike to Work Day!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


On Wednesday, May 13th (2009), hoist that bike onto the roof of your car and drive it to work! Celebrate the joys of bike-driving with your fellow road warriors! Put some miles on that under-used eco-transport! Plus, raise awareness about the hazard that affects bike-lovers everywhere. Low clearance garages.

Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) 2009

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Today was the most important day of the year for the Dutch: Queen’s Day. Everybody should experience this monumental block party slash mass garage sale at least once in their life. Nowhere else have I ever experienced so much humanity in such close quarters for so long over such a large part of a city. Three quarters of the city wears orange. Boats fill some canals bumper to bumper. People pack the most popular streets making even walking impossible, never mind bicycling or driving a car.

A few years ago Queen’s Day meant heavy-duty partying from the evening before (Queen’s Night) until at least late afternoon for us. Beer flows through the streets as water through the canals. We wandered the Jordaan (drunkenly) feeling half insider and half outsider.

But after eight or ten Queen’s Days the spectacle of the crowds and the partying becomes too familiar. More recently it’s become a quest to buy as much needed baby stuff as possible, as cheaply as possible. Kyoko researches the best neighborhoods to shop, and maps out our schedule… beginning at an ungodly early hour. Of course she knows what she’s doing and this year we scored a high-chair, lots of old wooden toys, modern toys, three buckets of baby-lego, cute clothes, two Bobike Mini child seats and more, all for maybe €100. The lightheated salesmanship and negotiations over how many cents will be paid for a toy make it all fun. Our partying was limited to sitting on our friends’ roof terrace afterward.

So why tell you about “Koninginnedag”? Well, because the bakfietsen are instrumental. All of the WorkCycles and MacBike rental bakfietsen get reserved months in advance by people and organizations planning to sell their goods or put on a show.

workcycles bakfiets vendor queens day

We and many others carry our new possessions home by bike too. It’s pretty much the only practical way to do so considering you can’t get a car within kilometers of the busy areas. Cycling might sometimes be slow or frustrating but you can usually find a quieter street to ride along or at least walk the bike through the crowd for a couple blocks. This year we took Kyoko’s Bakfiets Cargobike and a WorkCycles shop errand bike with two 60cm x 40cm plastic bins.

pascal and 2 bakfietsen full of new stuff

On a more somber note there was an attempted attack on the Royal Family, who was in Apeldoorn for the event. Some guy sped his Suzuki Swift (a small car) through the barriers in an attempt to hit the open bus the Royal Family rode in during the procession. He missed the bus but hit a number of bystanders. Some five people were killed and about a dozen wounded. The Dutch Royal Family has always travelled with minimal security and has never previously had a seriously threatening situation. Similarly the Dutch ministers are known for riding bikes around like normal people The press is speculating that this era of innocence has just ended.

Headlight repair

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

henry workcycles bike orange tire rack.jpg

A couple months ago I wrote about my own city bike, and noted that the lights have worked for years without fail. Well, yesterday I noticed that my headlamp bulb had gone dead. So I replaced it.

Sinterklaas Arrival Parade with WorkCycles Bakfietsen

Monday, November 24th, 2008

The Sinterklaas “Intocht” (arrival parade) needs no introduction for the locals who began chasing Sinterklaas and his many “Zwarte Pieten”along the Amstel river and through the streets of Amsterdam as toddlers. It goes as follows (please forgive me for the semi-accurate description – I’m only after the basics idea here):

Sinterklaas is the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, and probably a much older, more original, less commercialized story. Sinterklaas comes from Turkey, though I cannot say whether that’s related to the fact that Americans often eat turkey for Christmas dinner. As a helper (or slaves, depending on who’s telling the story in what era) Sint has Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”), or rather a whole army of Zwarte Pieten. Piet is black because he’s a Moor from Spain (like Othello).

Here’s where it gets tricky for those sensitive about such topics, specifically because the Dutch are not particularly sensitive: The role of Piet is traditionally played by white people made up in “blackface” as was normal in the US back when gangsters wore hats and pointed tommy guns out of black sedans in battles over gambling and bootleg liquor. There’s occasionally debate about whether this practice (the blackface, not the gangsters) is racist… but not much. That can be witnessed by the 350,000 happy fans lining the streets of Amsterdam cheering the arrival of Sinterklaas and 670 Zwarte Pieten. Just to note I spotted what appeared to be a handful of black Zwarte Pieten, also in blackface of course.

In any case Sint and the Pieten load up a ship full of “pepernoten” (little cookies like ginger snaps) and stuff in Spain and sail for Holland. Their exact route is unclear but they do end up sailing up the Amstel, which is odd considering that this is inland from Amsterdam. Perhaps they’ve chosen another inland route to pick up carrots for the horses or something. Once they reach the Amstel thousands of families with kids on bikes and in bakfietsen ride along the banks cheering Sint and the Pieten onward. The ship lands by the Scheepvaartsmuseum (the shipping museum) in the center of Amsterdam and Zwarte Pieten and Sint parade through the streets in all manner of Dutch vehicles and conveyances. Sinterklaas rides his white horse while the various Pieten show their preferences for bakfietsen, Land Rovers, rollerblades, unicycles, BMX bikes, stilts, fire engines etc etc.

Why am I explaining all of this? Because of the bakfietsen of course! WorkCycles had the honor this year of loaning a dozen bakfietsen and transportfietsen to Sinterklaas and his team. The bakfietsen were used to carry pepernoten for the kids, hay and carrots for the horses, and yet more Pieten.

A few of the photos are my own. The others found on the following sites:
Sint in Amsterdam
Photos by Sandra Machielsen
MichaËl also has some nice photos, though I didn’t use them here

Trippen “Shoes Garage” Sale

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

trippen shoes on sale at Shoes Garage in Amsterdam

60% off our favorite shoes from Trippen! This has pretty much nothing to do with bicycles but our friends Ben and Geraldine have decided to close their Amsterdam shoe shop “Shoes Garage” to move onto other ventures. Thus they’re blowing out the complete Trippen shoes collection.

You’re probably not familiar with Trippen. They’re a tiny firm in Berlin that designs funky, stylish, super-comfortable (and normally quite expensive) shoes. The shoes are hand-made in Italy from very obviously high quality leather. Some have notably thick leather, others super soft. Many models feature a molded cork insole like the main construction of Birkenstock sandals and this makes them very comfortable (and non smell gathering) when worn without socks. Why people then choose to wear their Birkenstocks with socks is thus one of the world’s great fashion-don’t mysteries.

Shoes Garage can be found in a little street in the Jordaan, just a few blocks from the new WorkCycles bike shop. Visit us both and kill two birds with one stone! (or as the Dutch say: two flies with one clap!):

The sale begins Saturday 22 November and runs until 1 December 2008. Get ’em while they’re hot.

Newsflash July 2009: The sale has been over for months. Shoes Garage is closed, gone, and their website is offline. There are no more Trippen shoes. I cannot help you find Trippen shoes. Please do not contact WorkCycles or leave comments with inquiries for shoes. Thanks!

Shoes Garage
Eerste Bloemdwarsstraat 5C
1016 KR, Amsterdam
tel 1: 06 2497 0845
tel 2: 06 1588 7786
Shoes Garage Website

Cambridge Talk: Bicycle Planning in the Netherlands

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Bicycle Planning in the Netherlands
Thursday Nov. 20, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

by Hans Voerknecht, International Coordinator of the Dutch Bicycle Council

At LivableStreets, 100 Sidney Street, Central Square, Cambridge, MA, USA

Free and open to the public, donation suggested beer/sodas provided compliments of Harpoon Brewery! Note: FREE BEER!

Simply copied from the Livable Streets site to promote their event, which vaguely promotes my goal of promoting utility cycling, Dutch style.

Learn about bicycle planning in the Netherlands from the International Coordinator of the Dutch Bicycle Council (Fietsberaad).

The Dutch rely ever more on the humble bike for transport as pollution concerns and high petrol prices give new impetus to traditional pedal power in the only country with more bicycles than people. The Netherlands, home to just over 16.3 million people, actually boasts some 18 million bicycles– 1.1 bikes per person.

Not even the wet climate seems able to put a spoke in the wheels of the Dutch, who weave through city traffic shrouded in plastic on rainy days, transporting anything from pets and children to groceries, musical instruments and plants on their bikes. Many a parent can be seen negotiating traffic with a child secured to each end of a bicycle with shopping bags and even a briefcase secured to the sides.

This event is cosponsored by LivableStreets Alliance and MassBike. Many thanks to Anne Lusk and the Harvard School of Public Health for bringing Hans to Boston.

I hope some Boston area WorkCycles / Azor / Bakfiets/ Dutch bike riders will attend and proudly show off their fine machines! I’d love to hear how it went. Thanks!

WorkCycles Uitverkoop (Sale)!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Nu is je kans om een super mooie en degelijke WorkCycles stadsfiets met 20% korting te kopen. Wij hebben nog wat fietsen met iets oudere specificaties (2007-2008 modellen) en het is gewoon tijd om ze uit onze winkels te krijgen. Er is, trouwens, helemaal niks mis mee meet deze fietsen. Ze verschillen alleen maar in enkele details van onze nieuwste uitvoeringen: bijvoorbeeld mischien een andere velgtype, een gewone dynamo of 7 versnellingen IPV 8 versnellingen.

We hebben een redelijk breed assortiment van modellen, frame types en maten beschikbaar o.a. omafiets, opafiets, kruisframe heren (pastoorfiets) en dames, transport dubbele stang en abdij (een andere type kruisframe). De meeste fietsen zijn martzwart maar eer zijn ook enkele in hoogglans.

De uitverkoop loopt totdat de oude fietsen op zijn of 31 december 2008. Nu staan deze fietsen in beide winkels maar we gaan ze allemaal naar de Lijnbaansgracht winkel verhuizen.

Bel of gewoon langskomen om een fiets uit te zoeken:

  • WorkCycles Lijnbaansgracht: (0)20 522 6000
  • WorkCycles Veemarkt: (0)20 689 7879
  • Stadsfietsen op WorkCycles’ website

    And now in English for our foreign friends…
    Now is your chance to purchase a beautiful, tough WorkCycles city/utility bike with a 20% discount. We still have some bikes with older specifications (2007-2008 models) and its simply time to get them out of our stores. There is, incidentally, absolutely nothing wrong with these bikes. They differ only in certain details from our latest bicycles: for example maybe another rim type, a standard dynamo or 7 speeds instead of 8 speeds.

    We have a reasonably broad range of models, frame types and sizes available including the oma, opa, kruisframe men’s (pastoor or cross-frame) and ladies, transport double-tube and abbey (another type of cross-frame). Most of these bikes are matte black though a few are gloss black.

    The sale runs until the old model bikes are gone or 31 December 2008. The bikes are currently divided between the two shops but we’ll move them all to the Lijnbaansgracht shop.

    Call or just stop by to find a bike for you:

  • WorkCycles Lijnbaansgracht: +31 (0)20 522 6000
  • WorkCycles Veemarkt: +31 (0)20 689 7879
  • City bikes on WorkCycles’ website

    WorkCycles Jordaan vestiging is nu echt open

    Friday, October 24th, 2008

    Na enkele maanden van verbouwing is onze prachtige 2e vestiging in de gezellige Jordaan (Lijnbaansgracht 32-B) nu open. De originele WorkCycles winkel in de Veemarkt (Oostelijke Eilanden) blift ook open.

    In beide winkels kun je fietsen (stadsfietsen, transportfietsen en bakfietsen) bekijken, uitproberen, aanschaffen of huren. Beide locaties zijn tevens volledig uitgerust om u te voorzien van service, en voor het doen van reparaties en aanpassingen aan uw fiets. Weet wel dat Workcycles fietsen bij ons voorrang hebben, echter ook transportfietsen van andere kwaliteitsmerken zijn we bereid te onderhouden. Voor service en verhuur is het verstandig van tevoren even te bellen voor een afspraak.

    Bij de nieuwe Lijnbaansgracht vestiging hebben we ongeveer 5 keer zoveel ruimte als in de Veemarkt dus kunnen we een grotere assortiment bakfietsen en transportfietsen in de showroom houden. Meer verhuurbakfietsen zijn ook beschikbaar.

    Op de WorkCycles contact pagina kun je een kaart vinden. Let op: De Lijnbaansgracht is een lange straat en we zitten bijna in de noordelijke hoek, vlakbij de Westerstraat en Lindengracht.

    De verbouwing van dit oude pand nam heel veel werk, voornamelijk dooor ons uitgevoerd. Ben je nieuwsgierig over hoe beroerd het pand aanvankelijk eruitzag. Kij hier.