Ambling Around Amsterdam

Amsterdam. Never been there, but my sister lives there. I’ve been to the Tour de France, but never the Spring Classics. Hmmm…what to do. Sounds like a good excuse for a cycling trip! I took 2 weeks off work to visit my sister in Amsterdam before joining Sports Tours International for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. I’ll cover that part of the trip in later posts, but first Amsterdam…

Selfie of me riding around Amsterdam.

I knew bikes were the main mode of transportation in Amsterdam. Even though I’ve lived in Chicago, I really wasn’t prepared for the cycling nuts there. Holy schnikes! Cyclists in Amsterdam don’t wear helmets, randomly do things, and rarely look where they’re going. Sounds a bit like SoCal drivers on the 405. I’m glad I brought a bell for my bike!

After landing, I put my bike together and of course went out for a short ride. I picked a route using the Strava Local feature. I went through part of the city before exploring some of the countryside and canals. I had to adjust to the cooler weather (50s) and the number of bikes around me. I saw a few other “roadies” when I hit the canals, but 98% of cyclists were purely “getting around” by bike. This first ride gave me a good flavor of the area. Plus, I wanted to test out my bike. Turns out my front rotor got bent in transit. I was able to straighten it a little with needle-nose pliers, but picked up a new rotor from a shop.

For my second ride around Amsterdam, I again used Strava Local and picked out a longer route the covered part of the city before heading to the Atlantic Ocean. This seemed like a neat way to see more of the country. It was going to be about 70 miles and likely would rain towards the end of my ride. Wow…real spring weather! The thing that surprised me about this route was that most of it was either on bike paths or in bike lanes. There turned out to be some hills as I got to the coast. Seeing the Atlantic is kind of anticlimactic when you leave along the Pacific, but it was interesting riding through the sand dunes on a bike path. I got some rain for the last hour or so, but it wasn’t too bad. This gave me a nice flavor of Holland. Here’s my route and some video:

Besides riding, I did do some sightseeing. I didn’t know that you need to get tickets to the Anne Frank and Van Gogh museums well in advance. Oh, well…next time! Here are some photos I shot in and around Amsterdam…

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