I can ride a bike but it’s been a few years since I actually pedaled one so normally I walk in Amsterdam – and try not to get hit by a cyclist 🙂 I also get lots more offers for rides when I walk so I have never felt motivated to rent a bike.
But I do see lots of locals on bikes, though, so it shouldn’t have come as a shock that everyone was biking around town on Friday night.
To get to my biking adventure though, we will need to backtrack through time a bit. Not a galaxy far, far away – but Vancouver August 2013. That was where I met Rune.
As is likely obvious from these pages, I love meeting locals. At the time, I was the local and he was just wearing a name tag that said Amsterdam. I told him I come to Amsterdam regularly so we arranged a meeting.
He is a co-founder of an accelerator so a very interesting guy. He invited me to come to his company on Friday and listen to a talk he was hosting for his budding young entrepreneurs. An interesting way to spend a Friday night in a foreign city.
Europe is a lot more relaxed than North America so there was also lots of beer since it was Friday night. I ended up speaking to a lot of the entrepreneurs and their enthusiasm was infectious.
Since Rune is Danish, I also met some Danes visiting for the weekend. Finally it got to the time of night that the Dutch go out into the greater world. It was decided we would go to Roest. It was in the trendy east so a decent bike ride – and definitely not walking distance.
It was in an interesting complex and definitely expanded my experience of Dutch nightlife. You can get there in a taxi but I would make sure you have a number to call to get back home if you are intrepid and want to party like a local.
Or you can be really local and rent a bike! The Dutch appear to not need sleep so when Roest closed down the plan was to go to a bar in the newly gentrifying east. The two of us without bikes would ride on the back.
I’ve had offers along the canals but so far had just stuck to walking but sometimes you have to try a new adventure. So I learned how to ride on the back of a bike. The key is balance. You need to keep your legs out of the way of the spokes and the peddler and make sure you absorb the bumps and the turns so you don’t topple over your escort.
All the effort ended up being for nought as the bar was closed. I ended the night in a taxi but, crawling into bed at 5am having drunk a good amount of local beer and spent time on a bike in the wee hours of the morning, I felt a little closer to being Dutch 😉
For more on Rune’s entrepreneurs, check out RockStart: