We first discovered Lemmie van den Berg on Instagram, where his raw and cinematic photography left us wanting to know more about the story behind the shots. As a model and photographer, his job takes him all across the world to work with renowned fashion brands like Hermes and Vogue. But when he’s back home in Amsterdam, you can usually find him riding his Veloretti across the city. Nearly every Dutch person has a good bike story or two. We asked Lemmie for his.
Let’s start from the beginning, with one of the biggest milestones for any kid! Do you remember learning how to ride a bike?
Yes, I started cycling when I was 4 or 5 I think. In the street behind the house where I grew up, we always played with other kids and learned cycling, sort of together. In the Netherlands you first learn to cycle with side wheels, one small attached wheel on each side of the back wheel. I remember when my Dad took them off and I cycled the first time without them. I felt so mature!
What’s it like cycling in Amsterdam?
Well, Amsterdam is the Wild West for cycling I feel. I don't think there’s a place in the world where so many people cycle and also at such a high pace. When I see tourists cycling on a rental bike I quite often feel bad for them, they seem so lost and scared. I ride my bike every day. In Amsterdam, it's for sure the easiest way to get around. I couldn't imagine a life without my bike. When I'm abroad I always miss having a bike right outside my door to get around.
What’s your favourite biking memory?
When I was 10 or 11 I got my first racing bike. My friend who lived next door had one as well, so we decided to cycle to my grandparents who lived 85 km away. It felt like such a huge adventure at that time, we planned the whole route on a physical map (can you still imagine?). We left at 6 am thinking we'd arrive in the evening. By 1 pm we were already there, completely destroyed by the distance but so proud.
Do you have a weekend bike ride you can recommend?
A few times I cycled from Amsterdam-West to Bloemendaal aan Zee, which is a nice bike ride. I'm from the south of the Netherlands, from a town called Maastricht. When you cycle outside of the city you have so many pretty bike rides into all the hills. Which is a bit tough, but so worth it.