Daily Archives: October 9, 2011

Gideon Rachman

Something has always puzzled me about Amsterdam’s famous bikes. While cyclists in London often ride flashy, modern bicycles, the cyclists of Amsterdam seem to favour old, black boneshakers – often without gears.

I had thought that this might be some sort of retro fashion statement. But – chatting to students in Amsterdam – I discovered that the real explanation is crime. Apparently, bicycle-theft is so common that it is pointless having an expensive bike in Amsterdam. Instead, if you need a bike, you simply buy one for 10-15 euros from a thief and/or junkie. Then, when its stolen, you buy another one.