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Riding the Waves and Wheels: Amsterdam surfers discover Cross

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With its suspension, thick tires and improved battery, Cross is the perfect bike for people who live in the city and head to the countryside for their weekend activities. People like the communities of surf enthusiasts in Amsterdam who brave the North Sea 30km away – a journey that takes a little over an hour on Cross.

On a cold and windy day in February, we headed to the Dutch capital to put Cross to the test and meet up with the people shaping the city's evolving urban surf culture. Our intrepid trio consisted of Joey Van Holland and Lars Jalving, from the New Amsterdam Surf Association, and Biarritz-based co-founder of Queen Classic Surf Festival, Margaux Arramon-Tucoo.

After a round of ginger teas to get us warmed up, we got on our bikes – complete with attached surfboards – and explored the city streets before heading to Zandvoort on the coast. Despite the near-freezing temperatures, our guests seemed very keen to hit the waves – clear proof that their love of surfing runs very deep indeed.

Joey and Lars: Amsterdam and Proud

An Amsterdammer born and raised, Joey's love of surfing began at the tender age of 7 in the southwest of France, paddling in the sea with his family. Now working as a high school teacher in his hometown, his passion for surfing burns as brightly as ever.

He and Lars have been involved with the New Amsterdam Surf Association for several years. The brand positions itself as challenging the established surf image of blue seas and white sandy beaches. Their love for the sport isn't dimmed by the North Sea's murky waters and cold winds — in their minds, it's a badge of honour that underscores their passion and commitment to the sport.

"In Amsterdam, having a bike is essential for getting around; without one, mobility becomes challenging"

Joey

As for cycling and how it ties in, well, in their city, it's ubiquitous. "In Amsterdam, having a bike is essential for getting around; without one, mobility becomes challenging," Joey explains. And with the advent of e-bikes, people have started cycling further afield, opening new horizons for assisted pedal power.

For Joey, Cross represents more than just a means of getting around his city, but a way to go further and do more of the things he loves. “I would use it everyday: for travelling to work, for skating sessions, for visiting friends, and for outings with my family,” he says with a smile.

Margaux's Waves of Change

For Margaux, it's a case of same, same but different. A native of France's balmy Basque coast, she may not have the Dutch weather to deal with, but that doesn't mean her hometown is without its challenges. “It's a very hilly town so an electric bike is a big plus, especially if I'm carrying something heavy,” she laughs.

Like Joey and Lars, she lives and breathes surfing. "It brings me everything my body, mind, and soul need. It's a necessary element to my life," she reflects. More than that, Margaux sees surfing as a tool for societal change. She and her friends founded the Queen Classic Surf Festival to celebrate diversity and foster broader representation within the surfing community.

The festival has already evolved from a simple gathering into a beacon of inclusivity, but like most things, she seems to take it in her stride. “We love to dance and have a safe place to do so… so we created a little fiesta that ended being a festival,” she explains.

"It felt very intuitive and easy... I felt very natural riding Cross"

Margaux

As the dunes loomed over the horizon and the sounds and smells of crashing waves carried on the wind, the excitement was palpable. The purpose of the ride was forgotten at times with the simple joy of being on a bike, effortlessly flowing along the cycling routes until they turned to sand.

We set foot on the cold sand and stared out at the dark sea. Somehow, despite the howling wind, the waves were barely visible. Sadly for our new friends, it looked like surfing was off the menu for the day. Still, this was a photoshoot and we had work to do, so we poured some more hot ginger tea from our flasks, unhooked the surfboards and got changed into our wetsuits.

It ended up being a truly memorable day and by the end of it, we were all keen to try our luck again soon. But maybe we'll wait a few more months for the weather to be a little less Amsterdam and a bit more Biarritz.

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