My First Beer Induced Bicycle Accident
Three days ago I decided it was time to buy a bicycle. With the help of my fellow flatmate Leonardo, who hails from Milan, I strolled down to ‘Waterlooplein’ market in search of a trusty vehicle that would enable me to whiz through this marvellous city. After strolling past, and trying out a number of bicycles at various stalls and listening to Leonardo’s very helpful advice, which included statements such as “Noh, Noh, I think that is too aggressive”, I stumbled upon a gem of sorts -the most spectacular little 1970’s bicycle. When I saw it my heart began to pound and I fell just a little bit in love. After a slightly wobbly practice ride, I knew we were meant to be and I transcended into a daydream in which I envisioned one day teaching my grandchildren to ride it (I think this possibly unhealthy and slightly dramatic obsession with my bicycle stems from my three failed driving test attempts. This really is like my first car!)
I couldn’t stop smiling as I cycled home (even getting lost was fun with my new companion) and I knew this lovely lady in red and I were going to have some wonderful times ahead. That evening I decided to meet up with my friend Samuel who recently moved back to Amsterdam and we decided to have a “few” beers. Now for the sake of a good euphemism and because I know my father will read this blog, I will say I was mildly “wobbly” after beer number 5 and I stumbled out of “The Minds” (Which is on Spuistraat and very cheap compared to other bars in the city) in a rather unsteady fashion.
After only a few minutes of cycling I had a beer induced collision with a taxi-bike and was thrown off my own one onto the not so comforting gravel road. With a bit of a thud, my bicycle landed on top of me (and gone was the ability of the “crank” – the part that holds the chain in place- and my pride!) The only positive thing about being tipsy at the point of crash was that I didn’t immediately feel the cuts and bruises or the embarrassment. Those joys arrived when I awoke.
The next day I headed back to the little market and informed Mr Bicycle man about my crash. In his heavy Dutch accent he asked if I had been drinking and of course, trying my luck at the chance of an al’cheapo repair I underplayed just how many beers I had in fact had. I informed him of the taxi-bike collision and with a snarl he referred to them as “bastards” and sympathetically divulged that although this was really a 60 Euro job, he would have it fixed, for free by the end of the day! What a lovely man : )
I went to fetch my lil’ bicycle (she really needs a great 1970’s name like Rhonda or Mindy!) at 5 o’clock and Mr Bike man had done a sterling job. With a pat on the back and a set of free headlights (man, he must have thought I was a seriously duff driver) he sent me on my way, and I cycled home smoothly feeling pretty chuffed!
In future however I will avoid the beer and bicycle combination! At least until I can properly drive the damn thing, or handle my booze.