Yes! You Can Ride Like the Dutch!

Anne Marij Van Leengoed riding with her children.

Anne Marij Van Leengoed riding with her children.

When you travel locally in the Netherlands, you just jump on a bike and go. It’s second nature, and trips around town with the kids are no exception.

So when I moved to the US with my family in 2008, I obviously brought my ‘Mom’ bike, complete with specially designed front and rear child seats. With this setup, I seamlessly integrated my Dutch riding habits into my new American life, and my family was having a blast as a result. So much fun in fact, we started receiving a lot of attention from flabbergasted bystanders. They were shocked by how well I managed biking with my kids, but honestly it’s easy with the right equipment.

We ride regularly where we live in Pacific Palisades, to school, the park, and I actually now commute at least once a week to my store/office in Santa Monica.

My drive to share my passion for this fun and active cycling lifestyle was my initial motivation for starting my business: importing and distributing the Gazelle Dutch bikes and the Yepp child bicycle seats in North America.

Just over a year ago, I opened AIKA the urban cycling store in Santa Monica. Fully catering to family and urban biking with only the highest quality brands. We provide everything you need to incorporate the Dutch cycling spirit and style into your everyday life.

Thanks to the hard work of bike advocacy organizations here and across the U.S., there have been vast improvements in biking infrastructure and a revitalization in urban cycling. It’s amazing to experience America’s rapidly growing bike culture, and it feels great every time we’re able to help another community member find the right bike or spread the Yepp child bicycle seats all over the country. It’s a great indication more and more families are embracing the joys of cycling.

I am really excited about our upcoming Family Cargo Bike Event Sunday Feb 27th, after all that’s how it all started. The timing seems perfect with more and more families curious about riding and wanting to learn more. Parents can test ride a full range of different cargo bikes while kids enjoy fun activities, such as face painting, a jumpy house, and diverse arts & crafts. I’m hoping this event will help uncover the secret world of health, happiness, and true connectivity that can be achieved through family cycling.

Not only does biking bring families closer together, but it’s such an empowering tool. Teaching children how to bike builds their confidence, puts them on a path for living a healthy and active lifestyle, and instills in them an appreciation for cycling at an early age. By the time they are teenagers, they will automatically want to bike. They will learn independence and responsibility at a young age, and you know what that means Mom’s, you will not be driving them around everywhere.

I’m really looking forward to welcoming you & your family! Everyone is invited and the event is free.

Family Cargo Bike Event

February 27, 2016

11AM to 5PM

2300 Lincoln Blvd #1

Santa Monica, CA 90405

I Dream of Lady Sunset - by Judi Tentor

I need a new bright orange bicycle so that women in my community can see me riding on a cheerful bicycle. My current bicycle is in need of a lot of repair and because it is such an old bicycle it is hard to get parts for it. I have ridden it many miles and it is ready for the bicycle retirement home.

My goal while riding bicycle is to set an example, to show people, especially women, that riding a bicycle can be useful and stylish and incredibly joyful. Bright and happy bicycle frame colors attract attention. I like to wave to people in cars and on foot when ever I can while riding. One of these lovely bicycles (especially the orange Amsterdam) would certainly attract positive attention as I ride to the store, to the library, and to meetings. Did I mention that orange is my FAVORITE color? I believe in riding bicycles for transportation. I want women to understand how easy it is to ride and that is best accomplished by example and by education. I love to talk to people about riding. I love to tell people that riding can change a life, can help anyone get stronger and more beautiful, and can save money too! The orange Electra Amsterdam bicycle, if I am fortunate enough to win, I will call Mango. Mango and I will tango through the streets. Our dancing will inspire lots of people to start riding bicycles. If I were to win the pink bicycle, I would call it Lady Sunset. Everyone loves a sunset and my riding would inspire others to enjoy more sunsets by bicycle..

Judi Tentor won our Electra Cherry Cruiser. Of winning Judi says, "Lady Sunset and I will be cruising the streets of historic Mission Hills very soon! Thank you so much for such a happy looking bicycle."