Monday, 8 September 2003
Visit any Dutch train station and watch the ocean of bicycles. How do Dutchmen ever find their bikes between hundreds of others?

It is a tricky problem indeed, for example at train stations. My own bike has a more or less fixed location. Yet, each it gets parked at a different spot, within a limited zone.
Take a picture
every day
and see a movie
of bicycles
jumping left to right
each in
an own area.
That zone is small. Yet I have trouble in the evening to relocate my bike. I have to quest the rows of bicycles to eventually find it.

Such a quest is troublesome. Bicycles are too much alike. Almost all of them have a dark saddle, a dark frame and chrome handle-bars. What make a bike distinguishable? One should be able to highlight it, using a kind of bright yellow.

The frame is the largest part which offers most chance for recognition. But with all these bicycles on a row the frames are hardly visible. The saddle is better, well visible. Unfortunately my saddle does not really stand out.

What remains are the handle-bars. I could paint it bright yellow. It would stand out from far.

A bit of luck comes to my assistance. My bell breaks down, a blessing in disguise. As a replacement I install a bright yellow bell. That bell is probably designed for kids, but I could not care less. It is an advantage to be odd. How many fellow cyclists will install such a bright yellow kids bell on their bike? None, just me! So the odd bell gives my bike identity.

So, if ever you see an adult bike with a bright yellow kid's bell, please leave it as is. It's mine!

Till next nut,