Amsterdam new ruling on beer bikes - are we really that sad about it?
During a short trip to Amsterdam this month, I was in conversation with a guy at the hotel who was running through the most popular tourist activities, what is worthwhile and what might be worth a miss at that time of the year. We got into a discussion about the beer bikes, which I have heard a lot about in the past and was curious about how popular they were. Yes, in theory they sound super fun and (maybe) if you're on a hen/stag do it would seem like an obligatory activity to book. He explained that a lot of people booked for them, but if we wanted to do them we probably should sooner rather than later. The city wanted to put a ban on them and it was looking positive of moving in that direction quite quickly. Is this not a quintessential Amsterdam attraction? No, it is absolutely not.
But what do the Amsterdammer's really feel about it?
Locals in any tourist city are prone to getting frustrated with almost every tourist activity that brings people in and takes them around. The Budapest tour buses are slow, the Barclay's bikes in London are dangerous, the Empire State queues block the fast flow of walkers, the boat tours in Denmark are disruptive to the lifestyle of those living on the water - etc etc. You hear it all the time, and frankly if you're in the position of the tourist you have to shrug it off.
The boozy beer bikes are just one of those things to ruffle the feathers of the locals. Up until now. This past month has revealed just how unpopular these bachelor party wagons are. After over 6000 signatures and a multitude of complaints from the locals - the city is banning them, starting 2017.
No more “groups of naked men or women with an inflatable penis,” say locals.
BUT - are we really that sad about it?
I would like to mention that if those things were being peddled around London, carrying an array of drunks dressed like Smurfs, I'm sure we'd have a thing or two to say.
Amsterdam's diverse appeal and rich cultural heritage holds endless charm - with all that puffing and panting taking the brunt of the peddling job, half-cut with a penis strapped to your forehead; you miss all the best bits of the city.
Cyalater beer bikes 👋🏼