Thursday in Rotterdam

Michael Kane can say what he likes about the Dutch. I think they’re cool—with the obvious exception of you Arlie (Arlie is the Dutch woman who bought the house next to mine for her sons to live in and party). Arlie, I don’t like you at all.

When I say Dutch people are cool, I’m thinking of people who Holland hasn’t kicked out yet, like Jorrit Spoelstra, Sven Prince, and Sven’s brother Detlef. Collectively they’re a young crew of artists, film makers, and urban planners/geographers, with Jorrit and Sven making a film called Genre de Vie (or “way of life”) about urban cycling. Here are some teasers:

I did an interview with them, then enjoyed the evening until the wee hours just riding around soaking up Rotterdam from the comfort of my Brooks saddle. Remarkably, these guys took me for lunch at the very cafe I had found for myself the previous day (refer to my earlier post with the photo of the coffee machine).

Jorrit and Sven

Sven is always arguing in Dutch with his older brother Detlef. It's cute to watch.

Together, we had the 3 coolest bikes in Rotterdam last Thursday night

I was trying to help them take shots of pretty girls for their new Cycle-Chic Rotterdam site, they're making with our friend Mikael in Copenhagen. Unfortunately my fast lens was focusing on on the no bikes sign, instead of the girls

We were joined at the cafe by Stefan Bendiks from Artgineering, a really inspirational firm working to make Dutch bicycling infrastructure more visually delightful. Let’s face it, the roads and traffic engineers who have built the dutch cycle path network, would not know a Mondrian from a diagram of adequate plumbing.

Artgineering are known for their pioneering work on bike super highways. Moreover, they bring an English picturesque sensibility to a national project that roads engineers got up and running, but which now needs input from architects. But if you have noticed, that’s how Holland works. Engineers provided the stage, and the people have done everything possible (with drugs, sex, architecture and art), to save themselves dying of boredom.

Stefan at work

 

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