I recently felt the need for a more environmentally friendly means of fetching the weekly shopping and other bits and pieces from the supermarket and other village shops. Taking an MPV 750 meters into the village two or three times every Saturday is not really very sociable.
So when I came across a special offer on a gentleman's transport bicycle (heren transportfiets) I went for it. A week or two after I placed my order I was pleased to discover that I am an early adopter of a new trend - Elsevier (Week 21) ran an article on the "De terugkeer van de bakfiets" - "The comeback of the carrier cycle".
A heavy load on the front and the backpedal hub break (terugtraprem) will take a bit of practice. See pictures in my photo album. And there are some interesting global trends in the origins of my new bike.
It is made by Phoenix Bicycles Netherlands B.V. which started up less than a year ago. The parent company is located in Shanghai and is 60% owned by the Chinese government. They produce 9 million bikes a year for the Chinese market. They are the largest producer of bikes in Africa and have been active in the USA since 1995. And now they have launched their bridgehead into Europe in the country which has more bicycles than people.
So the Chinese are making sure they are doing what they are good at in the global market place. Are we sure we know what we are good at? And are we making sure we are doing it?
Come on kids - get down to work, I have to enjoy my pension soon!