The beautiful capital of Netherlands is our next stop on the list. Amsterdam is flat, powered by windmills, and famous for their elaborate canal system and winding cycling lanes. The city is built for bikers with the impeccable infrastructure and strong cycling culture.
Pit Stop: Rijksmuseum
A huge tourist must-see is the National Museum of the Netherlands, Rijksmuseum. And in true Amsterdam fashion, its bike friendly! The tunnel passage under the museum gives riders the view of the atrium entrance. Inside there are over 8,000 pieces on display with notable work from artists Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer. Below, a view of the atrium ceiling.
Bikes Outnumbering Cars
The staggering amount of bicyclists is impressive (58% of the population over 12) but can be a bit daunting to visitors. Case in point: the Amsterdam Central Station. With bike tunnels underneath and international trams above, the station is truly a hub of transportation. It is the largest railway station in the city and can accommodate over 12,000 bikes. It’s anticipated by 2030 there’ll be 21,500 new bike spaces to continue accommodating their biking community.
Amsterdam’s Biking History
Biking in Amsterdam has been a long-time tradition for locals and dates back to early 1900s. Due to the flat terrain, biking has always been the main form of transportation and even became a way of Nazi resistance during World War 2. Bikers would try and slow up convoys and create small rebellious traffic stops.
Fishing for Bikes
In Amsterdam, there are three main canals: Keizersgracht, Herengracht, and Prinsengracht. They were dug during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century and have become a well-known attraction of the Netherlands – even earning the nickname, “The Venice of the North.” Although they create a beautiful city, these canals claim 15,000 bikes a year. Bikes that end up at the bottom of the waterway are assumed victims of petty theft, childish amusement, or self-inflicted tossing from their owners. They are often removed in mangled piles by boat-mounted cranes in an effort to keep the canals clean and functioning.
Small City with Big Bike Love
Full of history and culture, Amsterdam is a must for tourists on two wheels. Peddling through the Rijksmuseum, stopping at parks along the canals, and even Red Light District bike tours are all draws of the capital.
Wrapping Up Our Week Abroad: Sydney
Sydney has quickly become a more bike-friendly city with a growing bike network and dedicating future infrastructure plans to increase bike lanes and making more path connections. The city has become extremely bike-positive by offering courses, dedicated biking advocate staff, and of course a variety of mountain bike trails.
The Future of Sydney Cycleways
The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge will soon be a safe passage for those to get to and from the city. Currently, the bridge has pedestrians and bikers sharing the same path, with motorists passing by. Thousands of cyclists use the Harbour Bridge every day and with the separation of bike and pedestrian paths, it’ll become a safer, more efficient route for all parties. Consultations between the city and Roads and Maritime Services were completed in 2017 and construction is slated for this year, with a hopeful completion in 2020. There is a connecting, dedicated cycle lane between the Harbour Bridge and the ANZAC Bridge though (Kent Street Cycleway).
Beyond Paved Paths
Those looking for more adventurous rides don’t have to go to the Outback – Sydney’s mountain bike trails provide obstacles, difficulty, and bold routes. In Western Sydney, the Wylde Trail was groomed in landscape and architecture to accommodate beginner and advanced riders offering 3, 6, and 12 km loops, jump run and pump track.
The work that City of Sydney has done for the biking community has had a huge effect on the spike of bike riding in the city. Their team continuously works toward creating bike inclusivity with events, expert advice on route planning and bike education, and pushing for an expanding bike network. Their efforts can be found on their website or through Sydney Cycleways. This weekend you can attend their mini bike fest in Joynton Park where you can test ride, get a free tune-up on your own bike, and play garden games.
Sydney to ‘Gong: Thousands Raise Funds for MS
Australia’s most attended and celebrated charity ride is the trek from Sydney to Wollongong across the Sea Cliff Bridge and through the Royal National Park. Over 10,000 riders participate in the charity ride each year raising money supporting those with multiple sclerosis. The 55-mile ride is celebrating its 38th year this November.
An Island For All Riders
With such a strong increase of bike activity in a short period of time, Sydney is bound to keep making strides towards becoming a 2-wheel city. Coupled with the diverse terrain of the island, Sydney has rides for every type of cyclists, no matter how experienced or adventurous. Thank you for reading our Top 5 Biking Cities this week and stick around for our CR8 updates, new website, and videos later this week!