Any self respecting Barista in Amsterdam, and really even beyond that border, will know what it is: 'de Koffie omfietskaart'. Or for the non Dutchies, a disloyalty card asking you to use your very hipster fixie to cycle out of your comfort zone, and into parts of Amsterdam you might not visit that often, to try a nice cup of coffee in one of the independent specialty coffeehouses around the city.
I have to say, I am not that disloyal, resulting in missing stamps and no free coffee for yours truly. However I do love the idea and do try to hit all new coffeehouses at least once. A disloyalty card gives you the opportunity to try something new, and, usually, in the end getting a reward. What more could you want for?
This is why, when I saw an 'omfietskaart' for yoga studios in Amsterdam I jumped for the opportunity. As I have had problems with my knee, or rather, the muscle tissue behind my knee, I have been unable to run. Looking for a new activity, that would also help stretch and strengthen my problem area, I ended up with the idea to start trying yoga. But when living in Amsterdam, with a place to do 100 different types of yoga on every corner, I felt a little like a coffee newb during a first visit to Starbucks; overwhelmed...
The 'Elfstudiotocht', a pun on the Dutch nature ice skating event 'de Elfstedentocht', an initiative of the Lululemon Showroom, gives everyone the opportunity to try different studios for only 5 Euros a pop. If you collect all 11 stamps from all participating 11 studios you get a surprise gift.
The only catch? The time limit, you have to finish by 31st of January. Sooooo, together with a friend I made a schedule for the first three weeks of January. Yes, three weeks, not four, as travel plans clouded the last week, we are cramming all 11 studios in 21 days, instead of 31. And now, I am almost half way over the finish line, trying different studios, trainers en types of yoga. My knee feels a lot better, and I am even slowly building up my running. The muscles in my armpits ache from the downward facing dog. And I am on the hunt for my own yoga mat, as using the ones available in the studios is starting to gross me out a little.
Do you want to join the challenge? You can get your 'Elfstudiotocht-Omfiets-Disloyalty' card in one of the participating locations. And check the Lululemon Facebook post for more info. Tomorrow I am sweating and flowing at Yagoy, see you there?