That small bit of unspoken toilet humour

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Man w his Raleigh bike in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Ever ride past someone and thought you simply had to chat w them?

When I rode up on this cyclist, I joked that I thought he was British. I mean, the Raleigh bike, the peak cap, the sideburns… He had to be English. Well, of course, he was Dutch. But he saw the joke and replied.

“Oh, to be called an Englishman. I am not sure that is a compliment. But even when I am in England, people think I am an Englishman. My last name is pronounced Van Der ‘Low’ but is spelt Van Der Loo. So you have the very polite Englishman and you are back in a hotel and they say, “Oh, you have been here before’.”

The lonely roads in distance cycling

©Barry Sandland/TIMB Man w his bike in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB

“In 1965, my brother went to Paris on his Dutch bike and people stopped to watch him. To watch the spectacle. I did long rides three times to the north of Holland for business reasons, but I will never forget. A very good experience and you see how lonely the country is on the small roads. I did that about seven years ago. My daily limit is about 120 miles, 180 kilometres. If you cycle every day, you can do that.” Continue reading

An excitement about cycling that started early and crossed into all her life

©TIMB - Rider with her Raleigh bike in Yellowknife, Northwest Territiroes, Canada

©TIMB – Yellowknife cycling community may be small, but it is committed.

“I ride all year round. I love riding my bike. I grew up in a small town in southern alberta and riding to school all year round from kindergarten. I have just rode my whole life. I moved here eight years ago and it is great during the winter and there is always a place to park at the bike rack in the winter.

“There are about 20 people here who ride all year round. The main thing is having warm gloves. For me the biggest challenge is  keeping my glasses from fogging. You have your face covered and the vapour from your breath goes up onto your glasses and then it freezes. If you can keep that under control.

“Oh, here is Michelle. You should interview her. She lives on a houseboat so she would have paddled and then rode up.” Continue reading

Another story of bike theft, after theft, after theft

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Classic Raleigh frame with yellow front wheel

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Mixing a new wheel with a classic frame.

“I bought it this way, with this front wheel. I saw it on the internet. It was a guy who had a collection of old bikes. So this is a special bike and I love it. Now I lock it up with three locks. I have had seven bikes stolen already. With my brother and sister, eleven bikes stolen. Once I had two bikes, one broke down and I came with another – and both were stolen.”

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Three locks to keep a class safe.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Three locks to keep a class safe.

Photographer’s notes: I had to stake out this bike, waiting for the owner. The mix of a strong yellow front wheel attached to this 1980’s Raleigh bike was the first sign of a mix of modern wheels with the older steel frames.

And then the three locks used to secure the bike made me smile. I had seen it as both essential and overkill. The yellow wheel being a prized possession, the bike secured. But his story of continual loss would make most people opt for excess, if it would mean the bike still being there on my return.

But staking out a bike does not always succeed. I turned my head, took my bike to ride to the top of the courtyard and back – and the wanted bike was gone.

An hour later, I saw the yellow rim zip past and, though it took me too long to start the pursuit, I opted to return to the location of the first sighting – and there it was, owner attached, being locked up again.