Friday, July 24, 2009
Grocery Bike (& Friends)
The Dutch have bikes for every occasion. One of my favorites the moederfiets (mother bike) for on-the-go moms (or dads!). A bakfiets (carrier bike) takes the place of the American pickup truck. The standard omafiets (Grandma bike), preferably old and beaten-up, is the bike of choice for urban errands and parking outside the pub (so you don't have to worry about it!). There are cargo bikes and tandem bikes and even a backseat-driver tandem bike that lets your kid think he's in charge by riding up front, while you steer from behind! Folding bikes are for hybrid commuters who must take them on the train (bringing a real bike requires a ticket for the bike, but a foldy is free!). The fietscafe is a bike that's also a bar (yeah, yeah, it has four wheels, so "bike" isn't quite the right word, but it does have a pair of pedals for each of its 12 barstools -- luckily the bartender gets to steer!). I've seen one of these and they look really entertaining.
I once saw an entire brass band on a bike in front of city hall in Eindhoven:
These guys are rad; check out their website.
Sadly, I don't have all these special bikes (although I am "average" by Dutch standards as the owner of 2.5 bikes: my commuter bike, mountain bike, and my half of the tandem my wife and I used to ride before we had a baby!), but my trusty Gazelle does great work as a boodschappenfiets (grocery bike). I affixed the milk-crate with some old climbing webbing, and it works great. This particular outing, I packed the crate FULL of heavy stuff (note the stiff canvas bags, wonderful, thanks to my Ma), hung another bag off the handlebars, and I even was able to tuck the stems of some lilies into the crannies. Did I mention that flowers are cheap in the Netherlands? Each bunch was €3.
Hoera! Lekker fietsen!