So about a week ago, Dave and I were just about to ride our bike home from the noodle bar. In a blazing display of Dutch-i-fied-ness, I was on the back seat of his bike and he was just starting to pedal when who rides by but a Junky on a bike mumbling “Bike for sale….bike for sale”.
What luck. We had spent the last few weeks on the lookout for a junky selling a bike (no, really- we had been). See the thing here is, junkies steal bikes, and then re-sell them for about 10 to 20 euros. Which is a GREAT price to pay when all the shops are selling them for over 100 euros. And Dave’s bike had been stolen over a month before, and I’m pretty sure he was getting tired of carting me around on the back of our only remaining bike.
So, here was this Junky, apparently sent from Someone Above to bring us Christmas cheer and a stolen bike.
Without thinking or even checking out the bike, I called out “How much?”
He took us around the corner and we negotiated a price and I gave him the money- all not-so-very covert-like. He kept saying “Give it a ride first” but I just wanted a second bike. At first glance, it had EVERYTHING that I wanted in a bike- a bell, a kickstand, a back-seat, and lights. Heaven on two wheels!
What I didn’t realize was that this bike was stolen from a man. A very TALL man. This means that I have to throw my leg up over the back (because there’s a bar in the way), and then teeter on one tiptoe until I can gain momentum to coast the bike while I jump up into the horse’s saddle.
It’s a REALLY tall bike. I can’t stop gracefully at all and standing in front of the seat while the bike isn’t in motion is not an option, because like I said, there’s a BAR in the way, and if I do that, or even stop short, this bar will slice me vertically starting with my You-Know-Where and oh, God I don’t even want to think about it! And I know I’ll go sprawling one day from the highest peaks of this bike if a strong wind blows, and I don’t look forward to the day.
But that’s not to say I don’t like this bike. On the contrary, I am really starting to fall for it. It’s so big that pedalling at the same rate gets you places faster, so my travel-to-school time is cut down by about five minutes, which is just precious. And when I’m sitting so high up there, head and shoulders above everyone else, I can see farther and the view is quite nice.
So, to the oh-so-very-tall man who is now walking instead of biking around Amsterdam, I am very sorry, but your bike is in good hands now and I hope you have a Merry Christmas and that Santa brings you a new bike…or at least sends a Junky with one for you.