The Cycling Capital of the World?

Some time ago, I took an English colleague out to dinner in the Amsterdam City Centre. He became more and more subdued as we walked the streets and looked at the sights.  I finally took him into one of my favorite places – a small ‘tasting room’ as they call it and after three stiff Dutch drinks he finally admitted: “I won’t walk around this town any more! These bikes are lethal!”
I had noticed he had some close brushes with speeding cyclists but I regarded them as nothing out of the extraordinary. After all, cyclists are a law onto themselves in this town.


But I also remembered: After Beijing, Amsterdam must have the highest bicycle density in the world. And seeing them in action is seeing Anarchy on two Wheels! And encountering them is like facing the lions in the Colosseum in Rome…
And it is not a recent phenomenon; I found this British film fragment, showing how the Amsterdam bicycle situation was in the early 1950’s!




A Journey Back in Time

Sometimes one finds a ‘time capsule’ – some content that opens up the past of which we have heard a lot but never saw much of, except for some pictures in a family album.
Going through U-Tube for something completely different, I stumbled upon this video and could not resist to post the link. It shows Amsterdam as it was is the 1920’s, long, long before the backpacking herd and the pot and sex locusts took over one of the most beautiful cities in the world.