Friday, September 25, 2009

Car Free Sunday in Amsterdam

Car Free Sunday was surprisingly not so car free in Amsterdam. Sure there were a ton of activities celebrating the myriad modes of alternative transportation, but there were also a lot of "bio" cars showcased throughout the city. I participated in a parade sponsored by the Fietsersbond that was half bikes and half cars powered by non petroleum based fuels. To be fair, I think the day was also designated as "clean air day," but it was nonetheless ironic to ride a bicycle next to cars in a car free day parade.

I eventually peeled off from the parade to join up with the fixed gear guys and gals to spend the afternoon playing bicycle polo. Some fellows from Arnhem, Netherlands brought a proper polo court and we had a 4 or 5 hour tournament. One of them made this nice little video showcasing the tournament and car free day:

Car Free Sunday in Amsterdam. from cavin on Vimeo.

Because my team lost in the first round and never got to play again, I had plenty of time to make
a few pictures at the tournament. I was, however, flattered when later in the tournament I was asked to stand in for one of the oldest bike messengers in the city (Fish). Our team lost again, but hey, bike polo aint easy.
The proper court in all of its glory. Metal Madness. The Bad Brains were playing quite a bit this afternoon, interspersed with some Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg from time to time for good measure. Ah, it felt almost like home: punk rock and gangsta rap! Lester is picture in the foreground here with the blue disc wheel. The man can play some polo, yall. He also has a frame building internship at RIH, a local framebuilding company here in Amsterdam. This in addition to his responsibilities as a bicycle messenger with Infinity Express. Marc from Amsterdamize on a fixed gear. Who would have thought this day would come? At least he doesn't own the bike. In fact, I think he rode it just for the publicity.
This fellow, from Arnhem, was ticketed for taking a leak in the canal. Happens to the best of us, I suppose.
South African James gettin' some play.
Sipe, whose arm is pictured here, later went to the hospital for the injuries he sustained on this fateful afternoon.
Packing up the polo court at day's end.


After the polo tournament, we headed to the Pristine Fixed Gear Shop to take a look at some pictures made of the fixie kids.

Here are a couple of note (mostly because I'm in them ;):
This is a picture of a picture, but you can still see me to the right, glancing down at who knows what. It was gettin' kinda crazy by this point....
This was my fierce look. To my right is an Australian fellow, while behind me is Fish, a really nice guy and a pretty famous European messenger. Fish has worked in major cities across the world delivering stuff on his bike.

And finally, the picture you've all been waiting for:
Last night, after polo, we headed to the Centuirbaan Squat. The squat has a give away store (GAS), and this was what happened when we started digging through the piles.

Among my finer moments, I do say.