This year marks the 400th anniversary of the friendship between the Netherlands and the City of New York. As part of the year-long “NY400″ celebration, Dutch Cabinet Minister Frans Timmermans yesterday presented the City of New York with a fleet of 200 Dutch-made bicycles in an effort to promote bicycling. Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta were on hand to receive the 200 orange bicycles at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84.

“Any New Yorker who has visited Amsterdam knows we still have a lot to learn from the Dutch when it comes to bicycling,” says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “These Dutch bikes are a great way to impart some of that country’s renowned civic-riding to New York City streets.”

Bike and Roll NYC, a bike rental company, will manage the NY400 bikes this year. The bicycles will be made available to the public throughout the year at various special events.

More information

[I’d like to acknowledge the tragedy that occurred in the Netherlands yesterday when a motorist drove into the royal Queens day parade killing 4 and injuring 17. Our condolences go out to the victims and their families. —ed.]

7 Responses to “NY400”

  • Bryan @ Renaissance Bicycles says:

    I use one of these Batavus Personal bikes to cruise around town.

    The bike has lots of little details that make it perfect for rental and fleet use … internal gearing, drum brakes, internal locking system (meaning it has a lock cable stashed in the downtube that connects to the rear wheel lock), and obviously an identification tag.

    Two downsides are the weight of about 40lbs., and the heckling from uncultured teenagers. But both of these just need a little mental adjustment from the rider. This is not a racing bike, so it is meant to be ridden at a walking pace rather than jogging pace. In other words, sweating means you are riding too fast. And if you care what teenagers think is “cool” then OMG HLIT (How Lame is That).

    Bryan @ Renaissance Bicycles

  • Adrienne says:

    Right there with you, Bryan- HLIT! I love my Batavus, even if he is a land yacht : )

    I hate to think that any cyclist anywhere could be hit by a car, but in Amsterdam… even worse.

  • Alan says:

    Land yachts are cool. We have a pair, though ours are from England. A brisk walking pace and minimal perspiration is definitely the proper mindset for these bikes.


  • Carolyn Ibis says:

    I’m hoping to see the bikes when I visit NYC in July. Anyone know any events which may feature them at that time? I looked at the NY400 site and it didn’t have listings mentioning the bikes. I can’t wait to rent a bike and bike around the city. :)

  • Alan says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    This is from the press release for the event:

    “The 200 bright orange bikes will be used throughout the year for a wide range of events in NYC. Between September 8-12 the bikes will be used in a special bike-sharing event. Bikes will be available for use at the “New Amsterdam Village”, on Bowling Green in Downtown Manhattan, and on Governor’s Island where the “New isLand festival” will take place.”

    And from the NYT:

    “The Dutch bicycles will be made available to the public at a number of times throughout the year: a special bike sharing event Sept. 8-12; the New Island Festival on Governors Island Sept. 10-20; and the start of New York’s Harbor District on Sept 13.”

    Sounds like “September”, not “throughout the year”, but that’s all I could find.


  • evan says:

    Carolyn –
    I’m not sure that there are any events scheduled with the orange Dutch bikes in July when you visit, but I think they will be used during the Summer Streets events every Saturday in August. In any case we will definitely have plenty of not-orange, not-Dutch bikes available to rent at our locations around the city — Pier 84, South Street, Battery Park, Central Park, Governor’s Island. Come on by.
    On a less cheerful note: We at Bike and Roll love the Dutch for their warmth and humor and good cheer, and our hearts go out to the Dutch people and the families of the victims of the bizarre attack in Apeldoorn yesterday… I don’t know what else to say, what can you say when things like this happen? I just thought I should mention it.

    Evan @ Bike and Roll

  • Adrienne says:

    Alan- “A brisk walking pace and minimal perspiration is definitely the proper mindset for these bikes.”

    I hit 23MPH on the flats last night : )

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