Cruising for a brews-ing in Amsterdam

While Amsterdam has great art, architecture, modern design and so much more, what do people associate the Dutch capital with? Legalized pot smoking and prostitution. This drives Wessel crazy, rightfully so. Also, as he points out to everyone, that’s one part of one big city. Other regions of his homeland are more sedate, even conservative.

Now, after a recent brewhaha, more of the world has seen yet another party-laden side of Amsterdam — beer bikes, or party bikes. These ridiculous things have accident written all over them, yet they do make me laugh.

For the uninitiated, a beer bike (“bierfiets” in Dutch) is a pedal-powered bar holding 10 to 17 people who are served beer while pedaling through the city. Only one (non-drinking) person steers. That still, of course, has not prevented accidents. Last month, three women were injured when the bike tried to zip through a tunnel that was too low. Oops. Other mishaps have occurred, leading to said brewhaha.

Nonetheless, on Monday Amsterdam officials vowed that the (side)show would go on. The city is, after all, the headquarters for Heineken (which, by the way, the Dutch do not think is a premium beer. Because it’s not!)

Comic character Obelix would probably have summarized the situation as: “Rare jongens die Amsterdammers!”


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2 Responses to “Cruising for a brews-ing in Amsterdam”

  1. karel Says:

    Some addtion to the story: The one who doesn’t drink is the BOB. Anyhow, he (or she) is supposed not to drink alcoholic beverage.
    And more than that: All the things that are not forbidden are allowed.
    Why? because this is liberal

  2. Wessel Says:

    The beer bike (bierfiets in Dutch) has been banned in its current presentation. That’s what a lower court judge in Amsterdam decided. It’s too wide to fit the definition of a bicycle (maximum allowed width 1.5 meters [= 5 feet]; beer bikes are typically wider than 2 meters [= 7 feet]) and requires a special permission to use the public roads. Getting such a permission will be almost impossible after an accident with a bierfiets in May 2009, which left three people wounded.


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