Everyone knows the best way to get around Amsterdam is by bike. But negotiating narrow, bumpy brick bike paths and city traffic, as well as not falling into a canal can be a tricky business for tourists who are not used to biking it.
Let me suggest cycling in North Amsterdam, where the bike paths are a lot quieter (once you have got past the daily commuters). All you have to do is catch the free ferry to the Buiksloterweg and hire your own set of wheels. And while you are at it, why not do this in style with a vintage bike from Velox!
The distinctive 1960s and 70s bike design will set you apart from the rest of the tourists, whose rented Mac, Green, Hotel bikes are a bit of a giveaway. Especially when they don a completely unnecessary helmet. No for a bike chic ride you cannot do better than this foldaway or detachable 22-inch-wheel Dutch design.
The low instep makes it easier to hop on and off the contraption, if you are not used to riding around on two wheels. And the bikes are fairly low making it easy to just put your feet on the ground when you have forgotten how the brakes work.
Raphäel (Raaf) and his team are passionate about the retro style of their upcycled bikes. Everything is reused, upgraded and recycled. Even their office is a refurbished shipping container, which has been conveniently turned into a bar. They also employ and train people with learning disabilities to get them started in the bike repair industry.
But the real reason you should rent one of these bikes is because Velox Classic Bikes give fascinating tours. Even their standard tours are not particularly standard: a citroen garage, a windmill, North’s storytellers, vintage furniture shops. None of this “to the left is Eye film institute”, “to the right is the Adam Toren”. You can work that out for yourselves. No, “ Follow the Raaf” in his dust jacket and retro loudspeaker and he will take you to see North’s hidden gems: self-build houses, man caves, wildlife in the most unlikely places as well as De Ceuvel or perhaps the NDSM. Raaf and his crew are pretty eccentric and he is a real character. Raaf likes to connect people to their cultural heritage. He sees beauty in the industrial design of a bike from yesteryear. But he also likes to connect people, so expect to speak to some of the locals on your way. I promise you an entertaining afternoon.
Velox Classic Bikes
Buiksloterweg 5 A
Tel: +31 (0) 6 28900682