As a proper Dutchie, I ride a bicycle everyday. It’s my main means of transport: like most Dutchies I prefer riding my bicycle instead of depending on public transport or cars.
Also, like many Dutchies, I own two bicycles. One is to use in town, a classic Dutch ‘omafiets‘ (translates as ‘granny bike’). The other is to use out of town, a vintage (Dutch-Japanese) Kogo Miyata racing bicycle. After my iPhone and laptop, these bicycles are my most valuable possessions.
But what to do when your bicycle fails on you?
Where some people might go to the bicycle repair shop, I received a proper bicycle-repair-education from my father (who, oddly, is American). As a young girl he taught me to fix flat tires, repair the breaks, put the chain back on and so forth.
But since I have a Very Handy Boyfriend who fixes bicycles while watching ‘Malcolm in the middle’ and eating a bag of chips at the same time, I got a bit lazy there..
The other week the Very Handy Boyfriend was out of the country though and I had to face a derailed bicycle chain and a flat tire two consecutive days..
..and I did it! While fixing my bicycle on the pavement in front of our house, my downstairs neighbour passed by. “Isn’t that something a man should do?” he commented. “Well the man isn’t there right now so I rather do it myself!” I replied with pride.
Funny how fixing stuff that’s broken – a proof of independence and self-sufficiency – gives me a greater feeling of accomplishment than finishing university.