You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

A bike story

That is my wonderful bike. It’s a typical city bike, known as an “Oma fiets” (Grandma bike) and it’s gotten me just about everywhere in heat, cold, rain and wind. I love it. Unfortunately, yesterday it had a flat tire and since I was already running late I decided to take Ineke’s bike and that’s where my story begins… I was peddling along at a decent pace, trying to make it to Centraal Station on time so I didn’t miss my train, when I saw that I was coming up to an intersection. The light was flashing green which indicates that it’s going to turn red in a matter of seconds, so naturally I speed up in order to make the light. However, while I was still a ways back it turned completely red and I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I “slammed on my brakes” and remembered at that moment that I was riding Ineke’s bike and hers doesn’t have the brakes in the pedals like mine, it has hand brakes. Well, it only took me a split second of peddling backwards to realize my mistake but I was still approaching a busy intersection at a rather brisk pace and was no closer to stopping. I quickly corrected my mistake and pulled my hand brake as hard as I could. Now, correct me if I’m wrong but on most bikes with hand brakes the brake for the front tire is on the left, and the brake for the back tire is on the right, isn’t it? Well, unfortunately it’s opposite on Ineke’s bike and since her front brake works very well, the front of the bike stopped dead, the back of the bike flew up in the air and I sailed over the handle bars and landed on the ground! I wish I had a video tape of it because it had to have been incredibly funny to see. Luckily, I managed to kind of keep my feet and ended up without a scratch on me. The three or four people waiting at the intersection all asked me if I was ok and I was not only ok but I could not stop laughing. I still managed to make it to Centraal Station in time for my train so all is good. I just wanted to share that story with you all so you can have a little chuckle at my expense. Have a great day everyone!


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  1. Abi,

    Thanks for the great story. Are you saying you LANDED on your feet? If so, you’re in the wrong profession, girl. You oughta be an acrobat!

    I’ve been to Amsterdam, but many years ago. Your story brought back memories.

    Thanks for your comment and visit to my blog. Can’t imagine how you found it.

    Some day, if my novel is ever published, I’ll let you know if I can still find you. It’s a neat love story (I hate calling it a “Romance” – besides, it’s 90% true), and somehow I think you’d like it.

    I’ll keep up with your adventures. Keep writing.

  2. Caitlin

    oh NO!! I dread falling off of my bike… I’m glad you’re okay hon. that’s amazing, I probably would have broken my neck. goed gedaan!!!

  3. Hi! I am honored that you visited my blog. I feel very important now 🙂

    So here I come to read your stories too. I´ve only read “the bike story” yet but I´ll jump back and check the others later this day! I want to catch up with how the whole aupair
    thing is going 🙂

    Where are you from? Originally?

    Thanks for taking time to share more adventures with us. I´ll come back to see how u´re doing!

    bye from Germany

  4. sounds like a good thing you didn’t land in the street. that would have been horrible…just horrible. *wink* anyways, great story. *smile*

  5. i don’t really know how i landed like i did to not get hurt, my guardian angel must’ve been working over time or something *smile* to answer the question, i’m originally from north west indiana, just outside chicago 🙂

  6. wow… if that’s not craziness! it’s nice to have fun adventure stories like that, though! i’m glad you’re ok.. and i’m sure i would’ve been laughing too if something like that happened to me! have fun in the UK when you go!

    <>< k <><

  7. oh I wanted so much to have my own bike, and a typical dutch bike. but i’m so glad Ineke and Robbert have finally got enough bikes for everyone!

  8. PS. Is that the car accross the street, or does it just look simular?

  9. no, it’s not the families car, I wasn’t by the house when I took that picture 🙂

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