Another way to Amsterdam, a somewhat more scenic route that parallels the previous one to the south. I ride through a nicely landscaped apartment complex to Metro Ganzenhoef, then continue south behind the bank of African import shops and hairdressers, through the plaza where the street market is held on Saturday (dormant today, Sunday). Past the plaza, the path skirts a block of modern attached brick houses. Clara Zetkinstraat curves west and feeds into the Kelbergenpad. This meets the north-south Strandvlietpad at one of those perfect housing complexes overlooking a canal with ducks (pictured, above). I pause there and observe three African women in traditional garb, strolling arm in arm on this chilly, sunny day, cyclists occasionally zipping past. This is an immigrant neighborhood but hasn't got the slightest trace of blight.
|Zilvermeeuwpad: Weird architecture makes good landmark|
|Day or night, this woodsy stretch is a pleasure.|
I land at a residential patch of Diemen, then reach a cycling crossroads: west to Amsterdam Centrum, east to Diemen-Zuid, south to Amsterdam West and Amstelveen. The path then winds delightfully through a woodsy section (which remains well lit at night).
|Weesperzijde route to Amsterdam Centrum (ANWB map)|
|Strange bike fellows|
|Weespertrekvaart, good stretch for a sprint|
|Royal Philips headquarters|
|Cold ride down Weesperzijde|
I take a left across the Amstel at Centuribaan, a major thoroughfare into Amsterdam. By here the bike paths are pretty busy. Many ride with kids or mates seated on the rear rack. No helmets. One beautiful middle-aged woman has a small black dog in her front basket. A teenage girl chomps on a banana as she pedals against the wind. And so on ... a pageant of humanity gliding past on two wheels.
|Crossing the Amstel|