Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Meet Priscilla

I'm getting quite good at this cycling lark. I cycle to the station and back every day in the rain, sun or wind (the former and the latter more often than the mid-der). I hop on and off a still-moving bike with confidence... an amazing progression considering that I used to stop my bike, disembark and turn it around a corner manually. Now I love my bike, I talk to her. I've started calling her Priscilla - Prissy Priscilla - because I think she likes it.

When I first arrived in the country, I thought that Dutch women had an aversion to make up and hair stylists, now I realise that there's just no point. If you're cycling (no matter how far) chances are your hair is going to be mussed up and your make up smudged due to the afore-mentioned wind, rain and related watering eyes. So now I'm the same. Don't bother with straigthening the hair, get the station, give it a brush (optional) and do the make up on the train (again, optional).

I park my bike in the multi-storey parking lot and yes, I have lost it on ocassion. It's fine if you remember which level and on which side you parked. At least then you know where to start looking. I generally try to park on the same side, on the same level and try to remember which light/sign/distinguishing mark is closest. Sometimes I'm in a hurry and I forget. Fortunately, by the time I get home in the evenings the bikes have thinned out a bit, so I have less options to wander past before I get to mine. There is no reassuring 'bloop bloop' or tail lights flashing as you hit the remote key. I've found that calling out her name doesn't help either. Some people don their bikes with fake flowers, or paint it with flourescent colours. I can't say it's a bad idea.

Last night I got home to find that someone hadn't bothered to actually find a rack for their bike. They were clearly in too much of a hurry to actually park, so they just took their bike and RAMMED it in next to mine. When I got back to the my station, I found that Prissy was being indecently molested by some vulgarity. I had to wrench them apart and console my poor traumatised bike while I untangled the bike stand from the pedal (which had been wedged due to unnecessary roughness).

Once this was complete, I was free to go... but not before I took the offending bike (still locked by the back wheel - but this doesn't mean you can't pick it up and walk) and moved to some where completely different. Different level, different side, different rack.

Moral of the story? People park like dicks whether they're on a bike or in a car. Bikes are just easier to move.


rd said...

Nice one.
I would probably carry a multi tool around to be able to take their front wheel off and then "lose" the crucial connecting pin.
But I have lived in a society which builds my anger for a few more years than you have!

Anonymous said...

Well having met Priscilla personally - and I hasten to add at the risk of over-sharing that I have indeed ridden her - I recall she is black. In this chilly weather to which you refer I should assume it is obvious that a reflective safety vest - as given to other darker citizens - would solve the problem of comfort, identification in the racks, and some level of protection from unwanted advances. She could indeed appear to a be parking official. Bof.

Little Big sis said...

Not only did this make me giggle, it made me laugh so uncontrolably at the image of you actually moving the other bike, that I had to share the story with my co-workers who wanted to know what on earth could possibly be so funny that I have tears running down my face.