I feel like a eunuch on his wedding night. I got into Amsterdam yesterday so beaten up by a long haul flight that just swallowing solids felt like an effort. I managed to stay awake until 4.00pm, then crashed until 1am. This morning I walked around Centraal station photographing bicycle parking. Illuminating indeed. Next began my misadventure: an ill fated tram ride to collect a Brompton from Tromm Tweewielers, that hadn’t arrived. The big BIG consolation, was that the guy who served me named Aart (no relation to Art Garfunkel, I am assured), was ready to part with his own super light single speed S-model at a second-hand rate, my f-ing dreeeeam (folding) bike, if you will pardon my Dutch. But, being a puritanical bike nut like you and I, Aart not-Garfunkel insists on replacing the chain, rear sprocket etc etc before parting with his beloved. "Give me 2 days," he says, as though I’m here the rest of my life.
Post script: have just spooken with the Aart-not-Garfunkel, and he will have ze bike ready tooday. When in Holland Dr. Behooving chooses to buy all his Bromptons from Tromm Tweewielers. You really must check out their website, for the insane range of small wheel bikes that they stock, from Moultons to really silly monocoque carbon Gazelle folding bikes, that still weigh a tonne. If I knew which Chinese factory were blowing their carbon frames, I’d buy one and pair it with some light componentry, to make 5kg bike for travelling with. Far be it for me though, to tell the Dutch anything at all about bikes. I accept bike culture here as Gospel truth. You can get nice folders from the grocery store at the train station for 200 Euro, or if you want to spend more, most people here go with the Brompton.