World at a Glance: Green bikes – and scooters – in Amsterdam

Green bikes and scooters, Amsterdam

World at a Glance is a series here on Sophie’s World, portraying curious, evocative, happy, sad, wondrous, unexpected little encounters.

As I write this I’m on my way to the Netherlands, never mind it being 17 May, Norway’s national day, which, you may recall, is bigger than Christmas.

Last time I was here was on a blistering cold and wet day in December. But rain, sleet or snow – the weather is no hindrance for getting around by bike. Same in Norway, can’t let the weather rule your daily life too much, so come winter, we exchange summer tyres for snow tyres, often studded – on cars and on bikes.

In the city centre of Amsterdam, next to one of the city’s many canals, I drifted past a shop hiring out green bikes. A more unusual alternative were these green scooters (green in colour, at least, not so sure about emissions), a fun alternative to bikes if you’re feeling a bit lazy.

This time, amongst other fun stuff, I’m looking forward to biking on Scheveningen Beach, using a special fat rider (yeah, I’m not entirely sure what that is either; will let you know). And to testing a new odd place to sleep: a sea container.

What is the quirkiest place you’ve slept in?

Disclosure: My quirky sleeping quarters, beach biking and… well, other fun stuff, come courtesy of Den Haag Marketing.

17 Responses to “World at a Glance: Green bikes – and scooters – in Amsterdam”

  1. These scooters look like an awesome way to get around town! Enjoy Amsterdam!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2013 1145 #

      I do like scooters :)

  2. budget jan 18 May 2013 0710 #

    The weirdest place by far was in London many years ago (33 years). We answered an add (in TNT I think) for the cheapest accommodation in London at 1 pound per night for 2 people. Turns out it was in a campervan sales yard under one of the train station lines (Waterloo I think), run by an Aussie called Bow Wow with bright blue hair. He rented out the vans that were there to be sold. I am sure it was highly illegal, but we did it for a week. It was very cold and most people including us kept warm by running the gas stove! There was a makeshift bathroom and you could hear the trains trundling overhead as they entered and left the station. Great Fun.
    budget jan recently posted..Kaikoura A Meal of Crayfish with a side of Whale Seal and Dolphin

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2013 1147 #

      Sounds like fun – and like a very creative Aussie enterprise :)

  3. bonooobong 18 May 2013 1950 #

    I guess those scooters have been green technically as well; their emission is really low because they have hybrid engines built-in. I’ve seen them in Amsterdam as well, although I don’t like motorized vehicles in the historical downtown. By the way there aren’t any differences in topology of the country so you easily can ride any kind of bike and it doesn’t take a long time to get anywhere because it is such a tiny country.
    The quirkiest place I ever slept was an abandoned light tower in Croatia at the my grandparents house. It was scary but in a good way, we were with my friends.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2013 1149 #

      Thanks for the added info about the scooters. Sleeping in an abandoned light tower sounds fun.

  4. Steve 19 May 2013 0318 #

    The scooters look like a great way to get around (I’ve been called “lazy” more than a couple of times in my life) but I’d be a little concerned about sleeping in something called a container. Looking forward to reading a little about that. Good luck!
    Steve recently posted..Things My Parents Taught Me About Traveling

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2013 1150 #

      It was fun (but a bit cold). Post coming up :)

  5. Edit 19 May 2013 1126 #

    Actually those roller are technically green, their emission is minimized because they have got a built-in hybrid engine to be environmentally friendly. Btw you shouldn’t be afraid from cycling in the Netherlands, there aren’t any long distances or height differences, you could ride your bike through the whole country in one single day…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2013 1152 #

      Glad to hear they’re green in every sense. And biking was fun, even in pouring rain.

  6. 2 Digital Nomads 21 May 2013 1642 #

    Can’t say anything, we are now in Normandie in France and it’s been raining for 3 days now. Great bikes, saw them also when we were in Toronto last year.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2013 1154 #

      Makes sense. Canada is quite green, too.

  7. Justin @ True Nomads 7 June 2013 2056 #

    I’ve never saw so many bikes in my life, as I did in Amsterdam and Ultrecht!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 10 June 2013 0936 #

      The only other city to rival the Dutch ones is Copenhagen :)

  8. Andrew Graeme Gould 16 June 2013 1917 #

    Colour and repetition make this such a nice detail shot, Sophie!
    Andrew Graeme Gould recently posted..Santiago, Chile: Providencia street scenes

  9. Mike 9 August 2013 0529 #

    That’s fascinating to get around on scooter in the winter!! Wow, that’s hard core. Funny answer to your question – as it would be my parents house. Only I couldn’t sleep there period because it was TOO quiet. I’m used to some sort of white noise :)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 August 2013 1030 #

      I’ve heard New Yorkers say they couldn’t sleep if they didn’t hear a siren every 15 minutes. All what one is used to I suppose…

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