Whose Bike Is This?

whose bike IS this?

A few days ago I found this bike parked in one of the racks outside our home. Usually these stickers get stuck by customers and friends on wrecked, orphaned bikes around the city, thus several of the ironic statements on them. Thus to find one on a new-ish bike is unexpected, especially when its a rather chic but not exactly hip aluminium Batavus with suspension front fork and seat post. Eight of them is even stranger and I assume that’s the owner’s joke. Regardless of the intention I certainly appreciate the promotion. Thanks whoever you are!

The various stickers say…


fietswrak amsterdam workcycles 7
Een goede fietsenmaker is goud waard.
“A good mechanic is worth gold”, very true for those who depend on their bikes practically every day of the year.

fietswrak amsterdam 3
Wrak This! You deserve a good bike.
“Wrak this!” sounds almost like “F__k this!” Maybe you have to live in a small city with a half million orphaned, broken bikes on the streets to understand.

workcycles bike wreck stickers 11
Oud-ijzer boer gezocht.
“Scrap metal collector sought.”

fietswrak amsterdam workcycles 15
Hug a bike today.
Rather straightforward

fietswrak amsterdam workcycles 28
Zorg voor je fiets.
“Care for your bike.” In Amsterdam most people simply wait for their bikes to cease functioning before bringing it to the shop, a practice we’re trying to wean our customers from. With regular service a quality bike will run amazingly long for minimal cost. Letting parts grind themselves into oblivion will result in big repair bills.

amsterdam fietswrak vacation 3

amsterdam fietswrak vacation 14
My other bike is a Workcycles.
Remember the American bumper stickers “My other car is a Rolls Royce”?… which eventually morphed into such silliness as “My other car is a I heart dog’s head” etc. You get the idea.

fietswrak amsterdam workcycles 24
A bike is a terrible thing to waste.
Back in the day, back in the ‘hood one of the TV stations ran public service ads with “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”. I don’t exactly remember who was wasting their minds or how then but I have the same sentiment about bikes.

fietswrak amsterdam 15
Tijd voor een goeie fiets.
“Time for a good bike.” Usually stuck on a wreck. As far as we’re concerned it’s always time for a good bike.

11 Responses to “Whose Bike Is This?”

  1. Todd Edelman Says:

    How about “Known as the Tolerant Bikes of Europe- Workcycles”? and to make it clear “This Machine Kills Racists – Workcycles” and even something surprising constructive coming from me “When You’re Not Fighting Wars for Oil and the European Arms Industry, Your Kids are Happier with You on Your Workcycles” or – written in Arabic, Turkish etc – “Helps You Assimilate, Independently – Workcycles” complemented by “Fastest Way to the Mosque – Workcycles” and “Naked Cycling Not Necessary – Workcycles”…

    But see also http://www.psfk.com/2010/08/the-appeal-of-logo-less-luxury.html

  2. Feddo Says:

    Off Topic, but worth mentioning: http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/7376992/__Bierfiets_mag_de_weg_niet_meer_op__.html?p=1,1

    Your favorite bike has now been declared illegal and not roadworthy.

  3. Frits B Says:

    Re bierfiets: to be more specific, the bierfiets in its present incarnation is too wide to be classified as a fiets. If it can be shrunk to 1.5 meters or 5 feet wide, and preferably lose some height too as one got stuck in a bike tunnel a year ago, it’s free to join traffic.
    Interestingly, one of the commenters on this topic argued that the bierfiets in its present size is allowed in various other EU countries. And as EU law has precedence over NL law this verdict might be upturned. I’m not so sure but we’ll see.

  4. Feddo Says:

    Oh, the irony:

    The bike got stuck under the tunnel because it was indeed too high.

    Which – of course – is why it is now declared illegal because it is too wide…

    Again, off topic, but I seem to recall Henry mentioning the beer-bike here sometime in the past.

  5. henry Says:

    I might have once written about the bierfiets though I don’t remember in what context. I find it pretty harmless… certainly tasteless but fun and harmless nonetheless. Besides it’s pedal powered so how bad can it be? It’s a bike, sort of.

    I actually met my wife on the Conference Bike, a more elegant vehicle of the same type. Thus I’m partial to these vehicles. Probably somebody else has one drunken day on the bierfiets met Ms. Right, or at least Ms. Right Now.

    I’d vote for letting the beast roll in Amsterdam but we unfortunately don’t get to vote on such matters.

  6. Todd Edelman Says:

    @Frits B: I don’t think it is precisely the case that EU law takes precedence over NL law, and there are not EU laws for a lot of things regarding bikes and cycling. But please correct me if I am wrong.

  7. Frits B Says:

    @Todd: I quoted one of the commenters in De Telegraaf. My personal opinion is that the bierfiets is just a vehicle under human power instead of an engine, and is allowed on public roads (as it certainly is too unwieldy for bike paths). The only road it cannot use is the highway, or motorway in British English, or autoweg in Dutch, because it’s too slow. As such it must not exceed 2.20m in width which is exactly the width this particular bierfiets had. I think the judge took \fiets\ as main criterium which is oversimplifying the matter. There is in fact nothing fiets-like on a bierfiets except the transmission. It’s a bar on wheels – which is exactly the reason why it has been banned from the central part of Amsterdam for several years now. Imagine people engaging in organised intake of alcohol in the street.

  8. Abigail Says:

    “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” is (was?) the slogan of the United Negro College Fund.
    http://www.adcouncil.org/default.aspx?id=134

    Just in case you were dying to know. đŸ™‚

  9. henry Says:

    Abigail,
    Thanks! Yes, that was where it came from. How did you remember that?

  10. Abigail Says:

    I saw the ad a lot, having grown up in the ‘hood too, I guess. đŸ™‚

    I must confess that I actually thought it was for the NAACP but couldn’t remember the context so I did a search and found the above link. Th UNCF makes much more sense.

  11. Patrick Says:

    Dear Henry, please send some Hug your Bike stickers to Portland Oregon. Thank you. — Patrick

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