Roberto in Japan

Photo by Roberto Colville-Andersen, on the job in Japan

Above is a picture of Roberto showing my son around his bike shed, perhaps as long as four years ago now. The love Roberto has instilled in his own sons for cycling sees his eldest now living in Denmark and his youngest now moved to Japan. Both, in part, have moved to enjoy the cycling that each of those countries allows.

Roberto is just back from visiting son-2 in Japan, with so many photos of moultons and minivelos that I would bet money he’s been looking for such a bike on ebay ever since he’s been home, but of course he will not have found one, meaning Roberto will soon be emailing to say he has just bought a Moosegoose.

You see, my friend Roberto is an avid hoarder of secondhand bikes. He doesn’t just add them to his watch list on ebay. He doesn’t just buy them on ebay and leave them to rust in his shed. He buys each on ebay, that one other bike might have a good father.

He keeps folders, tandems, mixties, 10 speeds, “classic” mountain bikes and all the rest, in A-1 working condition, out of the same spirit one might sponsor a child through World Vision. ┬áSure, when we first go shopping online for a sponsor child, we imagine ourselves sponsoring some kid who, with better teeth, might one day turn up on telly in the miss universe pageant (why hello Miss Ecuador!) but in the end we happily settle for the knockabout lad who will just learn to read.

It will be interesting to see how his recent brush with miss-universe type minivelos over there in Japan, collides with Australian ebay, and the allowance Roberto’s wife grants him for hobbies.

If you’re reading Mrs Roberto, please don’t put a price on his bike-nurturing soul.


About Steven

I'm on a mission to put cycling on the agendas of architects, urban designers and fellow academics, who see the potential for bicycles to change cities and buildings. My PhD is in architectural history and my interdisciplinary research spans art theory, philosophy and cultural studies. I teach architectural history and theory and design studio at The University of Tasmania, Australia, and formerly worked as an architect designing large public housing projects in Singapore. My favourite bikes are a titanium racing bike I use for racing, a Velorbis retro commuter for riding to cafes and work, a single speed ultra light Brompton that I take with me when I travel on planes, a 29er hard tail mountain bike that I get lost on in remote places, an old track bike that scares me, a 1984 Colnago Super with all original campagnolo components that is plugged into a virtual realm that I train in, and a Dutch-made Bakfiets, that could easily replace half of the bikes I just mentioned.
This entry was posted in blog. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Roberto in Japan

  1. perthcyclist says:

    My policy is not to own a bike I wouldn’t ride at least once a month. At the moment I have 5 which all get at least monthly usage. I did once adopt bikes, restore them to working (but ugly) condition and then sell them, but I was losing too much money on them so I’ve slowed down on that habit.

Leave a Reply