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The road bike is among the most the contentious topics related to urban cycling. Especially by those on social media, where everyone thinks they know the best way to cycle in the city.

What is a road bike?

Road bikes are bicycles that are specially made for riding on smooth surfaces or paved roads. They usually have lightweight frames, narrow tires with high pressure, drop handlebars for different hand positions, and gears that are perfect for going fast on flat terrain or uphill. People typically use road bikes for long-distance rides, racing, and exercise.

I’ve been criticized in the past for supposedly disliking road bikes just because I live in Amsterdam.

This misconception comes from the assumption that everyone in the Netherlands rides the traditional single-speed omafiets (granny bike). Some individuals take it personally when Amsterdam is held up as the standard for urban cycling, simply because they don’t use a traditional Dutch bike.

There are a few points that I wish to make regarding this matter.

Do people ride road bikes in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is home to more than 900,000 people, and around 60% of them ride their bikes every day. This means there are hundreds of thousands of bike trips happening in the city.

However, it would be a mistake to assume that everyone rides the same type of bike. In fact, Amsterdam streets showcase a wide variety of bicycles that fit the simple definition of what is a bicycle.

Does a bicycle define you?

Cool girl riding a road bike

Another reason why road bikes in the city are a controversial topic is due to this toxic obsession with identity. Personally, I don’t label myself as a cyclist, despite having seven bikes and cycling daily.

In the Netherlands, your identity and choice of bike generally falls under the category of “no one gives a damn.” For me, biking in the city is about individual freedom and empowerment, not identity.

Do you hate road bikes?

It’s not that I dislike any bike. I used to have a road bike, and I wouldn’t mind having one again.

Honestly, I wouldn’t exactly label it as a fetish, but I’ve always had a strong fixation with women riding road bikes in the city. I can’t really pinpoint where this infatuation stems from.

Maybe it’s the way they carry themselves with such casual poise, exuding both strength and grace. And let’s not forget their impeccable control with a penchant for speed. It’s just something I can’t help but admire.

My homage to the road bike and the people who ride them

I call women who ride road bikes Drop Bar Girls. If I’m ever approached by one, I’ll go weak in the knees and begin to stutter. But I’m happy just snapping candid photos of them in Amsterdam. Now, as for men who ride road bikes, well, that’s a topic for another day.

As to whether road bikes exist in Amsterdam and whether I like them? Indulge yourself!

Hey, you may also like!

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