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May 10, 2015 No comments

Brooks Amsterdam Ride

Friends Events Urban Cycling
Brooks Amsterdam Ride
On March 28, the Brooks distributor for Netherlands culminated their month-long instagram contest featuring our #enjoyeverymile hashtag by putting together an afternoon exploring the beautiful, bleak, and weathered landscapes surrounding  Amsterdam.  By bike, of course, despite the ever-present rain and wind of that day. The theme of the tour was to connect south Amsterdam parks and green zones into one ride. Peter Gijam of Buzzworks.nl was invaluable in uncovering some great examples of Dutch architecture and scenery and providing us with a course map. With Peter’s help we saw many scenic corners within a stone's throw of Amsterdam’s city center.  Here are some impressions of the ride. Our route began at the Blauwe Theehuis, a modernist pavilion built in 1937 in Amsterdam’s the largest city park first opened in 1865: Vondelpark. Starting with a spin past the Bosbaan, oldest artificial rowing course in the world, we covered some gravel through the Amsterdamse Bos, which is three times the size of New York’s Central Park, the Amsterdam Forest is among the largest city parks in Europe. Once out into the countryside, we encountered the Amsterdam Architecture Prize nominated, Sodae House, to the Amstel River.We continued through Ouderkerk and onwards towards Ouderkerkerplas and from there, further towards Zuid Oost old for some old school urbanism.  Other highlights along the route included the Gaasperplas, where the nude beach was sadly vacant on such a grey day.  And, of course, the many bridges we crossed which, in typical Dutch fashion, all have architectural significance. First up was the Weesperbrug. This bridge was opened to traffic in 1937 and connects the lower Amsterdam Southeast falling village Driemond with Weesp where the last part after the bridge is narrower than the rest of the canal. This is where there is a lock where ships have to wait until they can cross safely on the Amsterdam-Rhine canal between the inland or to cross the narrow Weesp on the other side of the channel. Following that we rolled through Diemerpark, the largest urban park in Amsterdam with approximately 90 hectares, which is about twice as large as the famous Vondelpark. After that, we crossed the Nesciobrug is a bent suspension - cable stayed bridge and one of the longest bicycle - and pedestrian bridges of Netherlands. The total length of the bridge is 780 meters. Then we continued on our way back town via the Oost Entrepotdok, the largest inhabited warehouse complex in Amsterdam. On the homestretch we turned onto Kerkstraat. Originally intended to link together four planned churches: the Amstelkerk, the Oosterkerk and two churches that were never built, one at the Molenpad and one at the Weesperstraat. The construction began in way back in 1665. Once we got to Meesterknecht, food and drink awaited and we recounted highlights of the ride, admired the photos featured in the contest and were all pleased to see the weather clear up for our rides home. Here is a video Guido Schmidt made during the ride if you would like a closer look. Thank you to the hearty Brooks fans that joined the ride and stay tuned for more events in The Netherlands in 2015! More Photos on the @BrooksNederland FB and Instagram.