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Things that make you go hmmm typically express thoughtful absorption, hesitation, doubt, or perplexity.

One such example would be if people from Poland are called Poles, why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?

But a visual cue can also lead one to ponder in puzzlement. Such is the case with bicycles when they are so deeply integrated in society. These are some examples that have left me head-scratching in search of answers.

Twisted, bent and broken

The sight of a pulverized bicycle is a sad affair. It’s a tragic reminder that accidents do happen. This common mishap is often a result of cars and trucks backing up into parked bikes.

But beside bicycles that resemble the aftermath of a rampage from Godzilla, there are an unusual number of bikes with horrifically twisted fenders but with the entire frame intact. Then we have tires dislodged choking other bicycles into submission.

Bent handlebars are also fairly common. Dissecting how this could have happened may not be a mystery. But what is baffling is knowing that if the bike can still roll, locals will ride it.

My kingdom for a fender

It rains over 200 days a year in the Netherlands. Having a fender on your bike is just as important as having air in your tires.

Getting wet is just a fact of life when riding a bike. But that shouldn’t include a self-induced wet stripe up your back as a result of riding without a fender. Not to be dismissed is that you will also piss off the people riding behind you.

Sure I can understand that it may impede the look of a bicycle but I’m talking about Dutch practically here. That’s why I included some examples of some moderate ingenuity. Though it does beg the question, why not just get a proper fender?

Hang time

Bikes flipped over the railings on a bridge is a common occurrence in Amsterdam. The numbers dramatically increase during the weekend when drunk partygoers hit the streets near the center of town.

But not all bikes hanging are a result of hooliganism. In some residential areas, parking can be a little scarce. This leads some to get a little creative on where to park their ride.

Honourable mentions…

Canal bikes are no real mystery (see “partygoers” above.) But why would someone bother to move them onto a bridge and leave them there? In some cases, dragging them a long distance.

Canal bikes on a bridge

Bent bicycle fender rods/stays

Fender doesn’t fit right? Just bend the fender stay around the fork until it does. 

Kids are known to burn things like insects, but burning a bicycle light is just cruel. Clearly the battery exploded.

Burned bike light

Bicycle bell in water

Well there’s no fish so my guess is as good as any.

This list is organic and will continue to grow. But in the meantime, if you have an thoughts, or have uncovered answers, feel free to comment below.

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