Bicycles Abound Along Rokin Canal

Bikes by Rokin Canal viewed from Doelensluis, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsRokin Canal viewed from the Doelensluis bridge, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Amsterdam cyclists abound. Not just along Rokin Canal, but everywhere. On main streets, sidewalks are generally a safe zone for pedestrians, but along the smaller canals pedestrians must remain vigilant or risk being run over by one of the more aggressive cyclists. Unfortunately, I speak from experience.

Yes, bicycles are everywhere in Amsterdam. Besides the bikes lining the bridge in the foreground above, masses of bicycles were “parked” along the railing beside Rokin (the street).

Rokin Canal, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

My husband and I did not brave the Amsterdam cycling experience, however. When we did pass beside Rokin Canal on a number of occasions, we did so as tram passengers…

Rokin Canal viewed from Doelensluis, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsAnd once in the evening on foot as we searched for an open and inviting restaurant.  I wish I could truthfully say that one day I would like to cycle beside the canals of Amsterdam as so many others do, but the truth is I’m a terrible cyclist and would most likely end up in the canal.


About satnavandcider

An American expat living in England, exploring the United Kingdom and Europe through five senses and a camera lens.
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19 Responses to Bicycles Abound Along Rokin Canal

  1. leiah says:

    I think you should start cycling. I am sure you come to enjoy it! I love it. It doesn’t even feel like exercise, you get fresh air and are able to see much more than if going only by foot.

    • I used to bike to college (wide bike lane & no canals), but stopped after running into a curb, flying over the handle bars, and doing damage to knees and elbows (thank goodness for helmets). I’d like to say that the curb jumped out in front of me, but I doubt anyone would believe me. I wish it weren’t so, but I have a poor sense of balance, so I’m not kidding when I say that I’m a terrible cyclist.

  2. avian101 says:

    Excellent DOF compositions! Colorful urban areas! I like them! 🙂

  3. RMW says:

    I really enjoy your photography…. it’s one thing to have a good camera, another to have a good eye… and you definitely have the eye… Your posts (and, to be fair, one other blogger’s posts) inspired me to purchase a dSLR camera… I made the big decision yesterday and will be getting it next week… It’s been a couple of decades since I used a (film) SLR camera so I am nervous but excited!

    • Thanks, RMW. Congrats on your purchase of a DSLR camera. I just bought one myself for my birthday. I understand about being nervous, but excited. I’m still using my point-and-shoot until I feel competent on my new camera and even signed up for two intro DSLR classes (one to learn the camera and one to learn proper settings for better photos). I hope my DSLR camera will allow me to move beyond what I’ve been able to do so far.

      If you don’t mind sharing, I’m very curious to know the other blogger’s URL, because inspiration is a wonderful thing. Wishing you good luck and lots of fun with your new camera!

      • RMW says:

        Hard to believe you use a point ‘n shoot! I dearly love my Olympus SP-350 P&S camera but the time has come to move on…. like leaving an old, reliable (but limited) lover for a new exciting one you really know nothing about… However, I still intend to use the Olympus for my throw-in-the-bag camera! The other blogger I really admire is Slim Paley at I believe she is an interior designer… I love her use of color and the way she uses depth of field.

  4. When I was a student at Cambridge, a friend of mine actually did ride his bicycle into the river. It was so wonderful to behold that he never lived it down. For the whole three years he was there, people kept asking him to do a repeat performance!

  5. BTW needless to say the photos are fab as always. If it’s not too complicated, how did you manage to get that first picture with the bikes in the foreground so sharply focused, and the background buildings clearly focused as well?

    • Thanks for the compliment! I used a Sony Cybershot (DSC-W120), which auto set: f/2.8, exp. 1/80 sec., ISO-125, focal length 5mm, max aperture 3. The original picture was a landscape view, but I didn’t want to post a picture with a particular person so I cropped to portrait using the full width of the landscape shot.

      • I usd to have a Sony Cybershot, an early model bought years ago. Do you think that would be my best bet for a new camera? Given that I’ll only have one camera.

        • I don’t know what features are important to you or what price range you had in mind, but I do like my Cybershots. I bought the DSC-W120 in 2008, but it lost the ability to focus this past March, so I bought another, later-model Sony Cybershot (DSC-HX9V), which I hated when I first got (couldn’t figure out how to take a decent picture given all the options), but now that I know which setting to use when, I’m mostly very happy with it. Auto mode is great, but, unfortunately, the manual mode is limited. For this reason, I just upgraded to a Canon DSLR camera. However, we went to Belgium for Thanksgiving this past weekend and I took my Cybershot, not the Canon, if that tells you anything. I’m very happy with some of the shots I got and will probably continue to carry the Cybershot for its panorama mode and in-camera HDR even after I learn how to operate the Canon.

          There are a lot of good camera review sites on the web that I searched based on what features I thought were important. The HX9V was highly rated at the time, but it might now be considered an older model. I’m not sure. Best of luck in finding a camera that fits all your needs.

          • Thank you for all the tips!
            I want something that can autofocus but with a manual focus override. I am not very skilled in using light meters etc so I am usually happy to accept whatever automatic decisions the camera makes there! The most important thing to me is a really excellent quality lens. Years ago in the predigital days I had an Olympus Miu and it was simple but took really outstanding photos, which I attribute almost entirely to the awesome lens it had.

  6. Shutterbug Sage says:

    Such beautiful shots!

  7. LOVE your Amsterdam posts! I was there this past September on a tour of western Europe and to connect with Dutch relatives. Your pictures bring me right back to that lovely city and the time I spent with family. (sigh) I did do a (culinary/historical) bike tour there, too, through the Orange Bike company on Singel and you’re right – it’s total controlled mayhem there! I’ve never seen so many bikes in my life! It was an awesome experience though. Highly recommend visiting this city.

  8. Cycling all over Amsterdam was definitely one of my favorite parts of the city! Hope you get to try it one of these days! The car drivers are very respectful of the cyclists so I felt very safe. Your photos are so gorgeous, with the colors so vivid!

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