fuck off with this fucking bike

unsolicited sticker found on doede's bakfiets

Our website dude Doede van der Linden sent me this pic today. Somebody stuck this sticker on his Bakfiets Cargobike today.

“Rot op met deze &*%$#@! fiets” roughly translates to “Fuck off with this fucking bike” .

In other words somebody is displeased with Doede’s choice of bicycle. Below, the same in better detail.

Fuck off with this fucking bike

The sticker in all it's glory

Here we can read the smaller text below.

Dit is een asociale fiets hij is echt te groot en waarschijnlijk kan ook jij er niet normaal mee fietsen

And in English: “This is an antisocial bike it is really too big and you probably also can’t cycle normally”

Now let’s consider this more carefully.

  • The sticker shows a (very badly drawn) bakfiets with three kids, thus demonstrating that the sticker maker/sticker understands at least one function of such a bike.
  • He’s (and almost certainly a “he”) is writing in (bad) Dutch about a very Dutch topic. It seems reasonable to guess that he’s somewhat familiar with bikes and thus understands that one doesn’t carry three kids on any ordinary bike.
  • So I can only infer that he’s expressing his disapproval that a family should have three (or more) kids.
  • Now if anything is antisocial it’s telling people, unsolicited, by sticking things on their bikes, that they have too many kids, that they ride a bike that’s “too big”, and that they probably can’t ride a bike normally. So fuck off, you righteous asshole! Put stickers on your own bike and don’t tell people how they should live. Be happy that Doede rides a bakfiets (no wider than the handlebars of a normal bike in case it matters) instead of driving a Cadillac Escalade. And be happy that you live in Amsterdam, cycling capital of the world.

    25 Responses to “ROT OP MET DEZE &*%$#@! FIETS!”

    1. Ze Evil Kohl Says:

      Hehe leuk,
      naah really, ignorant people are everywhere.
      Shaky driving slowpokes are worse than the few and far between cargobikes that normally cross your way.

    2. chrismealy Says:

      What, they’re supposed to use a car instead of their bakfiets?! That’s crazy talk! WTF?!

    3. henry Says:

      chrismealy, john,
      I’m pretty sure the culprit is a bike rider and not a car driver, at least around town. He’s essentially regarding the bakfiets as a bigger bike, rather than a smaller car. He’s using the “If this X is good enough for me, it should be good enough for you.” non-logic.

    4. xzaz Says:

      Prob a Hummer driver.

    5. amsterdamize Says:

      Wow, somebody in Amsterdam went through that trouble? Never saw that one coming…pfff

    6. henry Says:

      Yeah, it’s amazing what petty, little (and wrong headed) causes people will pick up the sword to battle for.

    7. John, Says:

      There is always some Nutter around who Resents what you are doing. You go throuh your Life not Hurting anybody.Pottering around on Your Bicycle or Bakfiets and someone takes Exception to That.

      This Geezer would rather you go off and Buy a 4+ 4 and Pollute the Country and Block up the Road and also Pavement trying to Park it.

      He should go off to one of the Big CIties who are car Centric ,like London or New York and see how he likes it with all the Pollution.

    8. Pachango Says:

      Hehe I like his style of drawing and I don’t really see why this would be bad Dutch. I understand you get upset by the sticker, Henry, but let’s consider this: there are many, many people riding bakfietsen who really should either take a few lessons before continuing, or better yet decide it’s just not for them.

      A bakfiets loaded with kids is a lot heavier than a normal bike, the centre of gravity is completely different, and obviously it’s a lot longer, making turns a challenge for many people. Really, the way many parents are swaying and wobbling on their bakbikes loaded with kids, seems really dangerous sometimes. I’ve seen it happen more than once, that other bikes and cars had to pull an emergency brake, because a bakfiets would unexpectedly sail onto the street. I don’t understand people would endanger their kids in such a way!

      I love bikes, would never drive a Cadillac Escalade and certainly wouldn’t tell people they have too many kids, but I think it’s naive to believe that bakfietsen are all good and no bad.

      But of course, all the badly driven ones are from the Fietsenfabriek, not from your store 🙂

    9. henry Says:

      Hé Pachango,
      Hmmm, maybe a connection there with the “dader”? 😉

      Regardless I’m happy that not everybody just comments to nod their heads in agreement with me. You’re correct that there are some serious hazard cyclists out there, though bakfiets riders are not the only ones: How about groups of Italian tourists gathered in every which way across the bike path energetically discussing which way to go?

      Amongst the bakfiets riders, the three wheelers (which the sticker shows though Doede’s bike is not) tend to ride much more slowly and unsurely. That’s probably both because they appeal to less experienced cyclists (often foreigners) and because three wheelers basically just suck to ride.

      I’ll stay away from cheap potshots at our competitor/colleague Fietsfabriek since we actually get on fine with those guys. But there’s a a grain of truth in your joke: WorkCycles sells almost no three-wheelers for family transport while Fietsfabriek sells tons, and probably to a more international crowd in Amsterdam as well. Fietsfabriek tends to get the flashy media while WorkCycles is more for locals “in the know”.

    10. Pachango Says:

      Heya Henry,

      I believe I may know who the ‘dader’ is, yes. It ain’t me though.

      You’re absolutely right about hazardous cyclists, tourists are among the worst (and not just the Italians 🙂 ) But they mostly put themselves in dander, and possibly annoy others. Personally I think cycling tourists add to the charm of the city. Plus they create excellent slalom racing opportunities!

      But the parents I was referring to are actually putting their kids in danger. That’s a significant difference! So I hope they’re reading this too. My advice, if I may: get as many gears as you possibly can, and learn to use them. Much of the wobbling and swaying is caused by accellerating too slowly after a stop, due to heavy paddling. You’ll be amazed at how straight you can ride when using 1st gear!


    11. Pachango Says:

      and the less you wobble, the smaller the chance of getting stickered! 😛

    12. henry Says:

      Pachango, the wobble concept doesn’t explain Doede’s bakfiets getting stickered, nor any other for that matter. Doede’s anything but a wobbler and he rides that bike all over the place, often with a giant dog in the bak. He’s also got a speedy WorkCycles city bike so I assume he rides the bakfiets when there’s a load to be carried.

      In any case the stickers clearly aren’t doled out to wobble offenders; They’re stuck on bakfietsen that are conveniently parked and unattended. You’ve no idea whether the bakfiets pilot is a wobbly novice or Leontien van Moorsel.

    13. Doede Says:

      There are so many people who sway around in there cars on the Ring A10 or in the streets. No different with bakfietsen I guess. 90% of the people put their kids in danger by pushing the stroller on the street first, when crossing. No different with bakfietsen… I think the sticker-guy (it’s a guy for sure) will change his mind after having children himself. By the way, a bakfiets may be heavier with kids in it, but what to think of the no so stable normal bikes with a kid on the back and one hanging on the handle bars 😉

    14. Mark Says:

      One time after returning from a ride with our kids I found a sticker on my car. Luckily they were nice enough to put in under the windsheild wiper not stuck to the car. The sticker was of a dinasour riding a bike and it said “Think Globally Ride Locally”. I was not sure if it was put there to discourage driving to this area to ride or if it was just an attempt to keep non-locals away. Normally I do not drive to ride but when the kids were young that was the only option to ride at that nice car free location. In any case I put the sticker on my bike in the hope that I would someday meet the person who created it so I could find out the true motive.

    15. Todd Edelman Says:

      Sure the sticker ain’t some kind of reverse psychology tactic to empower bakfietsen riders? Or more likely the work of the Danish embassy, as part of a strategy to encourage Dutch to wear helmets?

    16. DrMekon Says:

      I guess what I take away from that sticker is that bakfiets can be intimidating or annoying. I had a go on an Onderwater they other week, and people were a lot less “jumpy” around me. When on the bakfiets, I deliberately stick to low gears in crowded areas, and am extra considerate in places where there is limited room for passing. Despite that, I’ve been heckled by someone who thought my bakfiets was too wide for a path. I pointed out that it was no wider that the handlebars, but there was no convincing the person. Since then, I’ve redoubled my efforts not to be a roadhog.

      Still, I suspect I would not be very polite to someone I caught stickering my bakfiets.

    17. henry Says:

      Certainly not intimidating and not especially annoying. What we have here is a strange phenomenon: Five years ago the bakfiets was just something for hippies, anarchists and squatters. It was a cult object. Then along came Maarten van Andel, Fietsfabriek and WorkCycles and we made them practical, approachable, socially acceptable and possibly even hip.

      But every trend has it’s backlash and now they’ve achieved a bourgeois reputation. Some see bakfietsen as the SUV’s or minivans of Amsterdam. But, hey, parents are always an easy target for those without young kids around. It’s very difficult to be “cool” with babies around.

    18. Smallpotato Says:

      Heh! I love that sticker.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the bakfiets. I think it’s a cool bike. What I absolutely fucking *hate* is the people who tend to ride them (in Leiden anyway): smug yuppie parents.

      Urgh! I loathe yuppie parents, with or without bakfietsen.

      I should explain to our American friends. Here in the Netherlands, and especially the more affluent Randstad, the bakfiets is a status symbol. It’s ‘green’, but it’s also significantly more expensive that a simple bike with a child-seat front and back. Because don’t kid yourself, Henry, thinking that if a parent didn’t ride a bakfiets he or she would drive a car instead. Not in Leiden, nor in Amsterdam. A car needs parking space, insurance, petrol and what have you.

      Now, my parents, rest their souls, never had a car. They didn’t even have a driver’s license (neither do I, by the way). So how did they move around with three kids in tow? Why, by bike of course. With kiddy seats. Or public transport. My dad rode his bike to work for more than forty years. Not because he was ‘green’ or of some cultural subgroup, but because the bicycle was simply the cheapest and most convenient way to get to work. These modern yuppie parents in their bakfietsen though.. You’d think they bloody *invented* bicycling with kids.

      I really like the bakfiets, though. It’s a cool bike. It’s the people who own them who get up my nose. Point in case; last week I walked past a rather expensive (private) music school in Leiden. It’s where all the toffeenosed hot potato ‘rents send their preschool kids to bang on triangles and such (as opposed to the municipal music school where kids can learn to play an instrument for half the price). The pavement was literally *littered* with bakfietsen. There must’ve been at least a dozen, if not more of them. So many, in fact, that you could not walk on the pavement, or even on the bicycle path next to it to pass. I had to venture into the fucking road. Thoroughly annoyed I checked around the corners. The residential streets next to the musicschool had lovely empty pavements. Would it be too much to ask of yuppie mamma to park her bakfiets a hundred yards away from her destination and *walk* those last few yard instead of blocking the pavement for pedestrians and bicyclists alike? Apparently Precious was too delicate for that. But don’t dare to complain, because *they* are GREEN and environmentally friendly and not in a car, so don’t dare to complain, you yobbo prole!

      I almost wish these antisocial bitches *had* bought a Chevvy instead of those bakfietsen. They would be just annoying with a car, I’m sure, they would no doubt park on the pavement as well, but at least they wouldn’t be so smug about about it. Being ‘green’ doesn’t give you the right to block the path. A bakfiets is a cool and practical bike, and if you’ve got the money for it, more power to you. But park it in such a way that you don’t hinder other cyclists or pedestrians, and don’t assume that because you’re such an obvious cool and environmentally conscious parent that this suddenly absolves you from observing traffic rules (I swear, give a mother a bike with two child seats and she’s careful in traffic, but let her put those kids in a sturdy wooden box and suddenly she’s invincible! The blitheness I’ve observed.. But that’s another rant for another day)

      So yes, I grinned at that sticker. Not mine, though, because I happen to think that damaging or defacing another person’s property is even more rude that blocking the pavement.

    19. henry Says:

      I’m guessing you don’t have little kids from your utter disdain of those who do.

      In Amsterdam (where the sticker in question was stuck) the bakfiets might have had some status associated with it for a short couple years, between the hippie alternative period and the current bourgeois boring period. At this point they’re just vehicles and I see everybody from hippies to “yuppies” to Moroccan moms riding them. Any status has long since evaporated as have idealistic reasons to ride one type of bike or another.

      But your rolling up of all that preconceived and angry social commentary (basically bigotry) into such conveniently insulting descriptions is frankly amazing.

    20. ReindeR Rustema Says:

      As an owner of a 1956 transportfiets for the past 15 years I don’t have to argue that I am in favour of bicycles.

      But there is a bigger issue at hand here that I do not seem addressed by any of the commentators so far.

      Let me start with a prediction. In a few decades it will be considered bad manners or even illegal to leave private property in public spaces. Wether it is a car, bicycle, a boat, a billboard or whatever.

      With our ever growing wealth we tend to own more stuff. That is how our consumer society is arranged after all: buy, consume, own. Sharing, renting and public property are getting more popular, but are certainly not the norm.

      All that stuff takes up public space rather than private space. A selfish act by the material man. It is just cheaper to leave stuff out there rather than to hire shelter for it (I do so for my bike, costs me €100 a year).

      If you want to be nice and considerate, you should not park your bike in the street but find paid shelter for it. The city of Amsterdam has projects to increase such spaces and you can sign up, petition for them or start one yourself.

      Most bicycles are like cars. They just stand still and occupy public space 23 out of the 24 hours in a day. The rest of the time they are just a waste of scarce materials and public space. Rent and share is the answer. I would therefore like to promote not to leave your bike (or anything) in public for long and use it most of the time.

      What is really antisocial is to leave a bike (no matter what size) in public space and hardly use it. For that reason I recently sold my second bike which was just standing there with a flat tire in a rack in the street. Waiting for the rare occassion for when I have guests staying over or when my main bike is in maintenance. I will just rent one from now on in those circumstances.

      That is why projects like the Velib’ in Paris are very good. Many people do not really care what bicycle they drive, as long as it works and it brings them to their destination. But thousands of those crappy bikes in the streets of Amsterdam amount up to a lot of mess. These people could and should all be using Velibs. No maintenance and an extremely low nominal fee.

    21. drooderfiets Says:

      I just call this racism

    22. henry Says:

      Which part is racism? Nobody’s talking about race here. You might mean “prejudice” of which quite a bit is flying around.

    23. Liz Says:

      Hmmm… I came across this exchange while browsing online for some stickers to decorate my own two-wheeled bakfiets. While the sticker in question isn’t exactly what I had in mind, I’ll admit I got a good laugh over it. There are times when my two of my three children are in the \box\, fighting, screaming, unbuckling… those times made me think \F this bike\, too. That said, the beauty of the bike is that it saves me tons of money here and is the reason I have never had to drive since I moved to Amsterdam. No need for a car, not even a Green Wheels membership. And if it makes me an expat yuppie, I’ve probably been called worse. Too bad it was used to damage someone’s property, otherwise: Funny Sticker!

    24. Ken Says:

      i stumbled upon this exchange more than a few months later! The disagreemnet, to put it mildly is about public an personal space. There’s no bicyclist who is okay with any other bicyclist wandering into what they perceive as their personal on-road space, no matter what kind of bikes are being operated. The sticker guy just went all passive aggressive, those who wobble have a certain misfortune of having to learn not ot wobble while in public, while each of us struggles with balancing holding our own space while being conscious of the need of space by other people, some far less successfully than others. Too bad that human nature can’t be as trouble-free reliable as a Workcyles bike!

    25. henry Says:

      Ken, “Passive aggressive”? Seems more “Active aggressive” to me.

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