Gazelle Canal Bike

No I don’t mean this type of Canal Bike that tourists ride around Amsterdam, though it does actually like like fun:

arsenia and william in amsterdam canal bicycle bike

Friday Richard was locking up some bikes in the parking spot in front of our Lijnbaansgracht (the “gracht” part means “canal”) and accidentally dropped a loop of the cable into the canal… where it got hooked on something under the water. After some stout pulling Richard found the following:

canal bike amsterdam (4)

Bingo! Free bike. We pulled it out of the water while tourists watched and laughed at this amazing Amsterdam phenomenon. Possibly only moving one’s furniture through the window with a rope and pulley suspended from the hook in the roof can gather more pointing tourists here. And for a better look at our prized catch:

canal bike amsterdam

We see that it’s a Gazelle Omafiets at least 40 years old though it definitely hasn’t been in the canal that long. Forty years ago there was no need for such a huge chain lock. The fish have eaten the rubber blocks from the pedals though apparently didn’t like the taste of the tires. The bike is equipped with rod operated brakes indicating that it was quite a chique model in its time.

canal bike amsterdam (1)

The rear hub has since been replaced with a Fichtel & Sachs Torpedo coaster brake instead of the original Sturmey Archer drum brake hub. Note also that the rear wheel spokes are entirely intact (stainless steel) while the front wheel spokes are almost entirely rusted away (galvanized steel).

canal bike amsterdam (2)

canal bike amsterdam (3)

Restoration project anyone? It’s still standing in front of WorkCycles Lijnbaansgracht shop if you want it.

2 Responses to “Gazelle Canal Bike”

  1. bicyclemark Says:

    you’re the CSI of Amsterdam bicycles. You must solve this case!

  2. Philboyd Says:

    I was in Freising, Germany a couple weeks ago and at the end of a long walk found a bike in the creek. Hot dog, a ride back to the hotel! But alas, after hauling it up on the bank it was not in immediately rideable condition either, so I tossed it back in. The next day on the way to the airport someone else had hauled it off.

    I have an antique Gazelle omafiets just like that in my backyard waiting to be rescued by a restorer too. It suffered 40 years of Southwest US sunshine, which was not as hard on it as 40 years of Amsterdam canal water.

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