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Amsterdam

Posted on 01 April 2010

Eric and I took off early in the morning to go to Amsterdam. We had a meeting at 10:30am with one of the companies we carry at Curbside at an out of the way but awesome cafe.

We rented a couple bikes from Mac Bike at the train station from the slightly less than friendly staff. Eric got a Personal Bike (like my delivery bike) but she gave me another type they carried called the Audioslave. Not sure why. I asked her if I could get a personal bike instead. She huffed puffed and then grabbed the bike (rather violently I might add) and put it back. She gave me a personal bike. She then told me that I would have to lower the seat myself because I was being too demanding.

We pulled out of the station and nearly lost my mind! I have never seen so many bikes in my life. We went straight to the four story bike parking lot.  It's bike parking heaven. I didn't have the pleasure to park my red personal bike there but I was close enough.

The bike parking was hardly glamorous but four levels of bikes was beyond my wildest dreams

So, like super huge tourists, we rode our red personal bikes through the canal ridden city, stopping every five minutes to check the map. We finally found the café.

The café was Cafe Amsterdam and was in an old factory. I’m not sure what the factory produced but it was cool. Kind of like Balzac’s in the distillery district in Toronto but more Dutch. We had a great meeting and I had some non kosher food and a coffee. Delicious…

After the meeting we took our personal bikes and rode to find the hotel we were staying at to check in. The hotel was rated one star on Expedia but it was cheap. We at Curbside are serious high rollers.  We pulled up, locked our bikes, and walked through a small brown café located just below the hotel. The girl behind the bar/desk showed us up to our room. To say it was small would be an understatement. The ceiling sloped (it was an attic) and the bathroom had a toilet and shower with no dividing wall.  The light didn't work either. The two single beds looked gross as well. Luckily hotels are for sleeping, so we shuffled out quickly to meet up with Henry at Workcycles.

We tracked down his shop. It’s situated right next a canal lined with house boats and bike parking. The shop was beautiful. We walked in and Henry was at his desk on this raised floor to the right. The shop was wonderfully laid out with Henry’s own creations as well as some imports, like the Nihola cargo bike that we also import from Denmark. We had a quick coffee and chat with Henry and his mechanic and made plans to meet back at six to go for dinner.

We were going to go to a museum but we didn’t have that much time so we went to Eric’s favourite brown cafe, The Nieuwe Lillie. The place was awesome. The building was actually leaning in towards the street and inside every piece of furniture and, seemingly, the foundation of the building itself, was crooked. It was charming and I had a beer. Eric also ordered some raw meat and cheese. Ossenwurst. A dutch specialty. I choked down a couple pieces of the meat but really just preferred the cheese. I know, lame.

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