Archive for the ‘Funny stuff’ Category

Shopping Bike and Kid Stuff

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

shopping cart bike

Well, it’s at least thought provoking… especially if you can ignore such details as the radial spoked front wheel with disk brake and the lack of several important, practical details. Most notably, where’s the little fold down seat for a toddler?

From here on Designboom

Thanks to Sjoerd of Double Dutch in Switzerland.

Apologies for the lack of blogging action here at BeM. We’re just super busy with “business as usual” at Workcycles and taking turns going on holiday after lots of busy business as usual for many months.

What’s new? Well, speaking of toddlers, lots of things though the most recent proud papa moment was 26 month old Pascal suddenly deciding that the balance bike (loopfiets) is cool after all. So he just got on and pushed off. A week later he’s tearing around like he was born on the thing. It’s quite surreal to see a two year old riding a bike. I haven’t had a chance to snap any photos yet so here are a couple just a week earlier of P1 demonstrating his mad scooter skills. He’s been riding this little Micro Mini scooter (€70 at Workcycles!) for 8 months already so the balance thing is already second nature; riding the bike was just a matter of doing the same on a different shaped vehicle. Actually he pedals a tricycle around at the daycare so, in principle, he could already put the two skills together and ride a pedal powered bike already… except that I don’t think there are any bikes small enough for such young kids. It’s doubtful he could reliably operate either a handbrake or coaster brake, so this little bike would probably have to be a fixed gear like the antique Dutch kids bikes we’ve restored. I have to admit liking the idea of building a teeny-weeny fixie, complete with mismatched wheels, top tube pad and a couple Knog lights but really, riding a balance bike until he’s three won’t exactly stunt his development.

p1-p2-h-10-10-10 6

Sometimes he goes a bit overboard and takes a spill but thus far he’s never hurt himself. Mostly he laughs and just jumps right back on. I imagine it helps to have begun developing these skills at such a young age but anyhow, I suppose a toddler who’s trying to ride skateboards he makes from Lego blocks and wheels needs a little space.

p1-p2-h-10-10-10 9

I first wrote about P1’s little scooter, balance bike and baby bakfiets half a year ago: Pascal has a bakfiets too.

More importantly, what’s keeping us busy and me in a steady stream of proud papa moments is that we’re now a family of four. P1 is now Pia’s (P2) big brother.

snug as bug in rugs cargobike canopy

Here they are, snug as bugs in rugs, in the family Truckster (a.k.a. Bakfiets Cargobike). Pia’s napping in the Maxi-Cosi while Pascal no longer needs (nor wants) his toddler support seat (a Bobike Mini with its mounting equipment removed). Here they demonstrate that kid(s) can sit on the bench together with baby in Maxi-Cosi, all weather protected by the canopy. As far as I’m aware Workcycles’ Maxi-Cosi carrier is the only way to do this.

Sure Signs of Progress

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010


Julie of Adeline Adeline, our brand-new dealer in Manhattan passed this photo along this evening. Not just one Bakfiets Cargobike in New York… but two Cargobike owners who don’t even know each other. Sure, there are a dozen Cargobikes in front of every day-care and nursery school school in Old Amsterdam… but in New Amsterdam, who’d a thunk? It’s about as statistically likely as having two grandmothers named “Adeline”.

Whose Bike Is This?

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

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…


Flattery in the Flesh

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Tattoo studio House of Tattoos a few blocks from WorkCycles in the Amsterdam Jordaan did this tattoo. Though it is one of our bikes (in mirror image) it’s not gracing one of our bodies; Tom found it while searching for tattoo artists. You can see more of Emilia’s work here. The bike isn’t really typical of her work. Most is of very finely drawn human and animal subjects.

I really appreciate the permanence and commitment of tattoos and some are really beautiful… but I can’t think of anything I want drawn on my body.

FERDINAND GT3 RS – The World`s slowest Porsche

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Sorry loyal readers. Between high season business and a new addition to the family (Pia, born 28 May 2010) there just hasn’t been much time for blogging. Here’s some fun stuff to tide you over:

Yeah, it’s been done before, but not so well.

And while we’re talking about motor vehicles wrap your head around this one…


The Croquette Bakfiets of Tilmann Meyer-Faje

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010


I saw this nearly perfect kroket on three wheels a couple years ago while visiting an art exhibition at Museum de Paviloens in Almere with Kyoko. I didn’t realize then it was actually a fully functional croquette (“kroket” in Dutch) frying and vending vehicle. I just figured it was just a humorous art piece. I suppose that’s also the case judging from some of Tilmann’s other projects which include a fake Segway tour of a mental institution, a mall kiosk that made and sold concrete clogs, and a one man university. But we talked with Tilmann at another exhibition last week and he filled me in on the whole scoop. He’s German though and explains it all with a straight face so I’m still not 100% sure about the humor part. I might just be inadvertently insulting an artist here, something I’ve already demonstrated an aptitude for amongst righteous cyclists.

Close Encounters of the Amsterdam Police Kind

Friday, March 26th, 2010


My occasional encounters with police have generally been rather strange. I suppose it must be very strange to have a job that puts you in constant contact with some of the worst things happening in the city at any given moment. Do cops just lump the whole world into criminals and victims, and trust nobody in the process?

I’m musing about cops because I had a strange experience while cycling through the city Sunday afternoon. I was waiting with a couple other cyclists and couple cars for a light to change at a wide intersection. The pedestrian signals in the direction I was headed turned to “walk” and the coast was very obviously clear. I rolled through the intersection, thinking I’d already behaved “better” than a cyclist would typically do in such a situation here. Everybody knows that cyclists in Amsterdam generally proceed with caution but ignore traffic signals. One waits only when it’s either unsafe or the police are watching. Like it or not, that’s the practice.

I suppose it would have been wise to have first looked around before proceeding to see who was watching. Thirty seconds after crossing the intersection without incident or inconvenience a police car pulls up to my left, window rolled down. The two agents in the car look at me as if I have “Cops are Dicks” written in bold letters across my back and motion for me to stop and talk. They don’t get out of their car nor do they want to see my ID or anything official. The driver, obviously angry, leans over and asks some pointed, rhetorical question to the tune of “what the heck was that, asshole?!”. The female agent in the passenger’s seat is giving me that “Yeah, duhhhh!” look… though I was thinking approximately the same in reverse.

I’m no genius but I can put two and two together; It’s pretty obvious he’s referring to my riding through a red light a few meters back. A quick assessment of the situation suggests that admitting guilt and feigning embarrassment is my best approach. But the cop continues before I’ve had a chance to test my acting skills: “How do you think it makes us feel when you ride through red and everybody giggles and looks to see what we’ll do? You show no respect!” They don’t seem to have a problem with a cyclist breaking the law. The problem is that I did it in front of a police car. Oh, now how do I react? I can’t exactly say “Sorry officer, had I seen that you were there I wouldn’t have continued.” Likewise, admitting guilt to jumping a red light is a pointless since he’s already noted that it’s accepted.

A couple moments later they still hadn’t stepped out of their car so I figured they’d no intention of giving me a ticket or fine unless I did something stupid. I played it safe, sticking to “Yes, that was dumb of me.” and “I see your point… Understood.” Then they drove away, apparently satisfied that they’d made their point.

Lesson learned: Only run red lights in Amsterdam when the police can conveniently ignore it.

New Cordo Anti-Rain Spray!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009


Wow, I sure wish we’d known about this stuff earlier! It’s been cold and raining for almost a month straight here in Holland and I’m really itching to get out for a nice, long bike ride in the countryside. Well this new “Anti-Rain Spray” from Dutch distributor Agu just showed up and I can’t wait to try it.

I know that the Dutch continue cycling for transportation regardless of weather... but riding recreationally is another story. I’d much rather cycle under a sunny sky, or at least when it’s not pouring and slightly above freezing temperature. I stopped racing years ago so I just don’t NEED to do that anymore.

If it works well WorkCycles will add it to our wonder spray range, right next to our famous High-Tech Antitheft Bicycle Spray.

Reading the instructions I’m already a little disappointed though; It says to apply the Anti-Rain Spray to jackets, bags and shoes. Problem is that I don’t always wear the same clothes and shoes to ride. So it already looks like more work than I expected but if it brings the sun out, or at least keeps it from raining for a couple hours I’ll be more than satisfied!

Happy Cranksgiving

Thursday, November 26th, 2009


Thanks to Paul Steely White of the almighty Transportation Alternatives in New York, and Freeman Transport makers of custom bikes and some tasty and tasteful accessories such as this great T-shirt:

cranksgiving shirt freeman

Speaking of T-shirts… WorkCycles has them too, along with a fresh supply of hoodies and also handy shop/kitchen aprons. The silkscreen detail of the WorkCycles kruisframe bike is quite amazing on these. As always, supplies are limited to act fast to get one!

– Hoodie: €35
– T-shirt: €15
– Apron: €20


Here’s artist Kyoko modeling the hoodie sweatshirt with the family Brompton. The design is essentially the same on the T-shirts and aprons. Both hoodies and T-shirts are heavyweights of great quality. The aprons are quite long and have pockets.

Contact WorkCycles for more info.

Shanghai Style: The Chinese Bicycle

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
No, the original NYT article was NOT cited.

No, the original NYT article was NOT cited.

We’re just back from Japan here and there’s still so much to show and tell. First I’ll get past the jetlag and clear the pile on my desk. In the meanwhile you can check out the 550 or so photos of Japan I posted on Flickr. I’m patting myself on the back here for making them pretty entertaining and informative.

Meanwhile I came across a nice bit of bike and fashion parody out of Shanghai, China. Most of you probably saw the slightly silly but timely articles on Dutch bikes such as “Riding the It Factor” in The New York Times. Yours truly was interviewed for said article, WorkCycles bikes were mentioned and used as props and the super photos of my friend Marc (a.k.a. Amsterdamize) were used for an accompanying slideshow about Dutch cycling.

Well shortly afterward some “economic refugee” Shanghai expats showed up with “It’s the S**t!” Factor parodying the NYT article above.

A couple days later “5000 Years of Civilized Riding” appeared… their take on the NYT fashion shoot with some worthy quotes such as:

…in China, bicycles have been part of the culture for 5,000 years. Fashionable Qin riders first unified China’s sense of style in 221 BC…

Oh, and I learned an excellent new (for me at least) acronym: BINO (Brand in Name Only).

Thanks to Fred Shasta, writer of these pieces.