Farewell Red Bike

If one day you find yourself wondering through the bicycle racks of Amsterdam and you happen to see a lonely and forgotten red bicycle, please stop for a moment and spare it a thought.

This poor bicycle will never know freedom again. It will never be able to do all the thing that bicycle’s enjoy and are supposed to do. Never again will it cycle… anywhere…

But it does not know this yet. Instead it waits faithfully, each morning, for its owner to return. It becomes excited by every passing tourist with ginger hair who looks slightly like the owner it loves and adores.

But time will pass by and it will stay where it is… forever chained… slowly rusting… silently waiting for a freedom that will never come. And then one horrible day it will finally lose all hope and realize that no one is coming, no one will ever ride it again. And in that tragic moment it will know the fate it has been left to suffer… Because its owner (me) is an idiot and lost its keys (again).

I’m actually really sad about this (even more so after writing this farewell). It is true that this is not the first time something like this has happened. My bike has been lost to me before. But I fear this time might be the last time. With each fruitless search for the spare keys my hopes of freeing my bike from its bicycle rack prison diminishes a little more.

I’ve had my faithful little red bike ever since I first arrived in Holland in 2001. It is… was… the only bike I’ve ever had. I don’t know if I will ever learn to love another bike again but I guess I must try to get on with my life… somehow. I will always treasure the happy cycling memories that we had together… me and my little red bike.

Good bye old friend. I will miss you.

18 responses to “Farewell Red Bike”

  1. Aga says:

    I feel so bad for your red bike I had to comment! And my comment is – just ask someone to ‘steal’ it! I’m sure you know somebody who knows SOMEBODY! :P

  2. Mark Hinch says:

    What a terribly sad story, and what an awful way to let such a faithful servant perish!

    If you are actually looking for a solution, then there is one! The Fietswacht offer a service for distraught bike owners such as yourself. The “slotservice”!

    http://fietswacht.nl/index.php/diensten-mobiele-fietsenmaker-amsterdam/fietssleutel-kwijt-of-gebroken

    Good luck!

  3. Rasa says:

    The story is sad but very usual for us, human beings ..
    … sorry, I didn’t understand the problem. Can’t you cut the “slot”? :)

  4. Oh Stu, I am so sorry. This could happen to everybody, but I totally understand your sadness, it’s such a cute bike. And in red! But maybe the person who encouraged you to find somebody to steal the bike was right- cutting the chain shouldn’t be so hard…

  5. Yvette says:

    Yeah, this totally happened to me and I’ve been here less than two years. Basically you can either rent a cutter from a store like Praxis or have a bike shop come out with a portable one (though that’s like 100 Euro, might be worth just buying a new bike then).

    If it’s any consolation though, it turns out there *is* a bicycle afterlife to consider… though it’s a bit more of a Fiets Purgatory than a Fiets Heaven or Fiets Hell- http://whereisyvette.com/2013/04/26/the-trials-and-tribulations-of-bluey-the-bicycle/

  6. Rouke says:

    Honestly, those locks can usually be cut with a large size scissors, there really is no need to rent one of those huge bolt cutters. Might be easier with some smaller cutters than with scissors, but who doesn’t have for example one of these in the house, or their neighbors house: http://roll2dice.com/gfx/theangelstalon/Tools_Cutter.jpg

  7. Dave2 says:

    It’s probably for the best… the bike just LOOKS like it’s the kind of bike that was biding its time until it could destroy us all. Now humanity is saved.

  8. Martijn says:

    I don’t want to admit how often I found myself stealing my own bike. You can usually get away with it if you just do it in plain sight. The more blatantly obvious it is that you’re trying to kill that lock, the merrier. And, quite frankly, that bike looks like it may be worth it.

    In fact: I once had a police officer kindly suggesting me how to defeat my own lock with minimal damage to the bike.

  9. meta says:

    Tip for the next bike, always make sure you have a spare set of keys at home. I once dropped my bike key in the canal, and was glad I could call my boyfriend to bring he bring me the spare key.

  10. Invader_Stu says:

    Aga – I do not know what you are talking about. I am in no way affiliated with any criminals (you can never be too carful. The cops might be listening).

    Mark Hinch – Thanks. I might give them a try.

    Rasa & Olga – The real question is can I do it with out getting arrested.

    Yvette – I know have visions of myself with a huge angle grinder and protective glasses, sparks flying every where…

    Rouke – I’m starting to think stealing bikes is easy and I might have found a new career.

    Dave2 – You take that back. My bike would not hurt a fly… well… unless they got in the way.

    Martijn – I’ve also had someone suggest I do it while in a suit. No one expects someone in a suit to steal a bike. It’s not a white collar crime I guess.

    Meta – I think I’ll have three sets since I can’t find the spare set any more.

  11. Terri says:

    Oh, don’t just leave the poor thing trapped and alone, not after all the places it has selflessly taken you!!!!! Surely Stu, you can’t be so heartless????

    Just cut the lock, or call the folks mentioned in Comments above. Save The Bike, Stu!!

  12. Perovskia says:

    Oh dear. I’m sorry for your loss.
    Perhaps you can save it, as others have suggested? Or have you gone past that and now just want a new bike? Hmmm…..? :)

  13. King Stu, when I said that my goal of The Holland 305 Project was to implement the eventual eradication of bikes by March 2015, I didn’t mean that it would actually effect YOU, and certainly not so early in 2013. Didn’t you get that memo???

    Seriously, though, keep in mind that you are more likely to find things when you least expect to find them. Those spare keys may turn up just yet!

  14. Holmes Interventions Ltd says:

    Don’t be sad. You can always visit it. Maybe take it a cake one day…with a file in it.

  15. VallyP says:

    Stu, I’ve had 8 bikes stolen here – all well locked up, so it can’t be that difficult to liberate it – what’s wrong with some good bolt cutters? Don’t abandon your old friend for a minor inconvenience like the lock. Goodness, when has that ever stopped anyone really ‘ingeburgerd’? :-)

  16. Alison says:

    Just call up this page if you need proof of ownership. ;) Perhaps bolt cutters are just as good an investment as multiple spare keys. If nothing else, you can hire yourself out to come to the rescue of others in a similar predicament!

  17. iooryz says:

    I have a small box with hooks to store my (spare) keys, mounted to the wall in the hallway. That might be a good thing for you as well, dear King Stu. For now, maybe you can ask your loyal citizens that remove wrongly placed and chained bikes to free your bike. Or just do it yourself, it can’t be that hard for a real dutch king!

  18. Invader_Stu says:

    Terri – You’re right. I can’t just leave it there… I WILL SAVE IT NO MATTER WHAT!!!

    Perovskia – Not yet. I’ll never love another bike again.

    Barb the French Bean – You expect me to read memos?

    Holmes Interventions Ltd – I don’t know if I can visit. It’s still too painful.

    VallyP – I guess I’mm not truly Dutch until I’ve stolen my own bike.

    Alison – I think this could be the start of a new career.

    iooryz – I’ll have to do it while wearing my full official king attire so the police know not to arrest me.

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