[leiden] my first bike

Ever since I went to college, I always wanted to have a bike. I dunno why, but I was always eager to have a mode of transportation which is both environmentally friendly and cheap, ha-ha. So when Myriam told me that there was her friend who wanted to sell her bike and the bike seemed to be quite small, I went there straightly after class. So I went to Hooigracht, where Amy, the girl who wanted to sell her bike, lived. I met her, and she showed me her bike, but unfortunately I just couldn’t ride it as the seat was a bit too high. And in fact, I got quite a trouble in riding a bike. Well of course, the last time I rode a bike was about 5 years ago, and that was when I was on Pangandaran beach, renting a bmx for a little ride around the site. But anyway, Amy told me about a good second-hand bike shop in Morsstraat. So after I went to Amy’s, I went to Morsstraat, and found that bike shop. Unfortunately it was closed.

So the next day, after going to the International Office for a little briefing on the residence permit and such stuff, I went to the bike shop at Morsstraat, to look for a kids bike. There were some kids bike there, and I bought the one that was quite expensive but it has a lock, the light still works, and it has both pedal and handbrake. So I bought the bike. It was 70 Euro by the way, so it really was quite expensive for a second-hand 24” bike.

And as a matter of fact, it was really really heavy. Now I know the one thing that the bike doesn’t have: gears. It was rather weird thou, because when I rode a BMX, it didn’t have gears also but it was not that heavy. So few days later I bought this sort of oil for the bike chain – and it cost me bloody 12 euro! – and I sprayed it on the chain. It was not as heavy as the first time, but still it was quite heavy. Maybe I just need a little more excercise. And definitely, I would not going on a bike during a cold, cold day.

It was quite funny really, that during the last ten years, I always wanted to have a bike, and ride a bike. But now that I have one, I can’t really ride it well enough. I felt really tired even if I was just biking for about 5 minutes. I hope this is just a phase.

But anyway, one of the most difficult thing for me in riding a bike was not because the pedals were heavy, but actually to keep myself on the right lane. Right in term of direction, not right or wrong! Ha-ha. Surely because back home everything runs on the left side of the road, and now it’s the other way around.. It’s so confusing. And one thing that I still don’t get it is that we were occupied by the Dutch for 3.5 centuries and we even had trams and other Dutch systems, but we adapt this traffic-rule-thingy from the English. I don’t really mind thou, until I have to ride my bike on the other side of the road :p


ps:  My friend Sapie has two scooters and he named both of them. So when I was chatting with him on ym, he asked me whether I had given a name to my bike yet. Well, I actually haven’t. Any ideas? I planned to name it telly (from Te-Lima Tiga, a bus number which passes near my home in Jakarta, and it’s orange) or stanley (from Stanley Kubrick of Clockwork Orange – I recently heard an interesting fact about the book, actually, he-he).

pps: [7 april 2009] i lost this bike 2 weeks ago btw 😦
so now i have another bike, I bought it from Amy but it’s not the bike that she wanted to sell to me that day, as she actually has two bikes


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