Saturday, December 05, 2009

Bike trouble

When you live in Groningen it's almost a bare necessity to have a bike if you're not living in walking distance (say 5 minutes) of the city center. I live a good 10 minutes cycling from the city center so when my bike breaks down it sucks big time.

Of course, there is a bus but I don't have a students public transport pass (free travel) anymore so I have to pay, and next to that the last bus rides at 1am, and since the pubs have no specified closing time I don't like to be forced to stick to bustimes or get a damn expensive cab ride home.
Last monday I got my rear tire fixed and enjoyed riding around again up to thursday night when I drove over a beerbottle which tore rear tire.

To keep it fairly short, I parked my tire-slit bike in the city, borrowed a bike from a friend to get back home at 3am. Picked up the tire slit bike the next day and brought it to a local repairshop (will be fixed on monday afternoon), borrowed a folding bike from the office where I work as a cleaner and brought the first borrowed bike back and got home on the 2nd one. Being 1,9m tall makes riding the folding bike feel like driving a small tricycle, but it'll have to do, awkward and tiring as it is. Tomorrow and on monday I'm stuck driving the bus because I've got to get the folding bike back to the office on time.

I feel like a bike-juggler. How dependant are you on your own transport vehicle?


Blogger Dan said...

I think I'd end up having a heart attack if i had to depend on a bike for my transport. It's very hilly where I live.

Actually, I'd probably end up becoming very fit rather than having a heart attack. but I still don't fancy it.

5 December 2009 at 22:45  
Blogger SingleParent said...

I am very reliant on my car, being in the sticks it is a real necessity. I do go out on my bike for exercise though and recently suffered a puncture. Since repair I have filled the tyre with that green slime stuff that is suppose to prevent punctures.

5 December 2009 at 23:29  
Anonymous Lee Sargent said...

We drive to the local train station and then take a 30/40 minute train trip into town. It really sucks for doing anything spontaneously in the city because we have to plan everything and time it all out.

If we are doing anything in the city we will generally drive in and take out a small loan to pay for parking!

I'd love to live somewhere where biking was a good option!

6 December 2009 at 10:28  
Blogger Arjan said...

@ Dan: just walk up hill and bike down hill :P

@ SingleParent: hmm so where can I find this green slime stuff? I would like an entire tire of it :P

@ Lee: pfft that sucks. But I imagine it costs a fortune to live closer to the city.
Aside from repair trouble the Netherlands is a really good biking country, without it being so dangerous as in some Asian countries where at least it looks like they're risking they're lives every second.

7 December 2009 at 00:17  
Blogger Arkonbey said...

I wish I could bike commute again. I used to live 7 miles from work, now I live 15. That's not a hard trip, but I just don't want to spend so much time commuting (when I could be riding for fun).

Sliced tires suck. Holes in tubes can be patched, but with a sliced tire, there's nothing to do but replace tire and tube.

Don't get slime! It is heavy and it will leak out of the hole in the tube and get into the space between the tire and tube before it dries. It's just bad. A patch kit and a pump are an necessity (and some companies like Specialized make heavier-duty tubes or tire liners to avoid flats like that).

7 December 2009 at 17:09  
Blogger El_Duderino said...

Heaving a broken bike sucks round here. I thought about having a reserve bike for cases like that, and bought one when I got absolutely drunk and thought I had left mine somewhere when I couldn't remember the next day ( hey, I'm a student, I'm still allowed to do that). So by now I have 2 bikes and won't be stranded, which made me miss the last tourney in the end.

Arjan, what about a game next week? I gotta test my renegade IG :D

9 December 2009 at 02:53  
Blogger Arjan said...

@ arkonbey: I have to cycle for about 25 minutes to work, but it takes longer by bus and I don't have a car which would probably get stuck in traffic.

@ El Duderino
I'll have my working schedule of next week tomorrow, I'll let you know. The nighs are a bit pumped full of parties here and there..birthdays, christmas know..the lot :P

9 December 2009 at 11:28  
Blogger Arjan said...

@ El Duderino: mail me at: arjanbeensATGMAILdotcom

I've got either my monday evening or my entire tuesday free. The rest of the week is crammed with work/study/parties/sleeping

11 December 2009 at 13:35  
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16 December 2009 at 23:41  
Blogger Maarten Jalink said...

Welcome to my world Beensie! My bikes keep breaking down so I refuse to repair them or buy a new one. I've found out that I'm fine without one. The again, I'm within the 5 minute walking range. I'll get a bike once I've got a job and finished my study ;)

18 December 2009 at 13:16  
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