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Happy Birthday NYC! - From Batavus

Posted on 06 April 2009

in EVENTS, in PRESS, in Travelogue

Editors note: 2009 was the 400th birthday of NYC, aka: New Amsterdam. To celebrate Batavus donated 200 bicycles which can still be seen today riding around. We were proud to support this event, and even prouder that Obama rode a Batavus Personal Delivery - one of our best selling imports. 

- February 2016

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It's the 400th birthday of Nieuw Amsterdam - that is, New York City - and to celebrate Holland on the Hudson our friends at Batavus are giving NYC the most iconic symbol of all things Dutch, the bicycle. And not just one bicycle, but two hundred bicycles! (That's 400 wheels for 400 years). Here's what Radio Netherlands had to say:

"Dutch bicycle manufacturer Batavus is giving 200 bright orange bicycles to New York as a birthday present. In 1609, the first trading post was set up by the Dutch East India Company on the island of Manhattan. It was the beginning of 400 years of cultural, political and economic cooperation between the Netherlands and America.

The bikes will be shipped from Rotterdam and will be used during the festivities to mark New York's 400th anniversary. Between May and November, they will be used for several events, including the opening of a cycle bridge over the Hudson river and a cycle path around the city. It's hoped dignitaries such as President Barack Obama, Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima will try a "Dutch ride" on the traditional style bikes. Afterwards they will be passed on to the city's run-down neighbourhoods to be used in community projects, including cycling proficiency exams for children."

 

 

Obama? Really?  But, as GM crumbles and North American bike companies scramble to build their first-ever city bike it appears that the tried and true European city bike is finally getting its rightful due. Batavus is one of the oldest, and certainly the most representative bike company in Holland, if not Europe. The gift will be Batavus' ultra durable Personal Bike model - delivered by none other than the Royal Dutch Airforce. The bike will feature a royal Dutch orange (oranje) paintjob and the Netherlands and USA flags interlinked. Car-mad NYC could probably use a reminder of its more-civilized ancestry, and as bikes and bike lanes rapidly fill up the streets of NYC the timing is near-perfect. By the time the summer is over, NYC might look like Nieuw Amsterdam after all. 

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