Sarphatipark | De Pijp.
Riding a bike in the city is often categorized as simply a mode of transportation. This maybe be obvious and true, but looking at cycling through this lens reduces it to just that when in fact it is far more.
I’m quite fond of observing people who give others a lift by bike. While amusing at times, make no doubt that there is something invariably happening that is overlooked and perhaps even undervalued.
When people ride together there is a bond being formed. The proximity, trust and human touch all play a role in this connection. It may be subtle and for some may just happen at a subconscious level.
Yet you won’t feel this relationship when crammed in a steel tube on the subway. Or sitting in a back seat separated by neoprene and vinyl. This week’s Pedal Mode Monday pays homage to a mode of transportation that does.
The most famous park in the Netherlands is Vondelpark. Conveniently located near the centre of Amsterdam, only a few minutes walk from Leidseplein and the Rijksmuseum. For the full experience of this world-class park, I recommend a visit by bike.
Officially a state monument, the 120 acre park is a popular hub for both locals and tourists drawing 10 million visitors each year. During the summer months, thousands will converge and pepper the grass lawns to unwind. Fortunately, there’s always prime spots away from the crowds if you want to enjoy a picnic and uncork a bottle of wine.
Once on foot, there are plenty of things to see and do. Discover winding paths, sprawling gardens, and picturesque ponds. On weekends, many will partake in extracurricular activities involving giant plumes of smoke. Just look to the sky and beneath the haze, hundreds will attempt to wield fire in the designated barbecue areas.
Entertainment is also in abundance. From May to August catch performances ranging from jazz acts to stand-up comedy at the open air theatre. Or just take a moment to watch inline skaters spin some tricks.
Not to be missed and are the wide open asphalt paths that encircle the park. Luring thousands on bicycle each day makes it one of the best spots in city for people watching. But once on bike, the park provides a perfect shot of oxygen while tunnelling through a stunning forest wonderland.
While the scooter and moped free paths can’t be undervalued, there are occasions when joggers, skaters and cyclists will waltz to a symphony of near misses. But these bottlenecks won’t deter those who just go round and round for the ultimate pleasure ride.
Whether spending the afternoon basking in the sun or in need of quick break from the concrete. Carve out some time, hop on two wheels and pedal over to Vondelpark.