What a strange sight to see in a big city. A machine that seems to defy the laws of our modern society, a society in which everything -even its people- seem fragile and temporary. Rolling perfectly for 60 years despite its rough treatment and lack of maintenance, always loaded with groceries, tools and scrap with the worst paint job you can see on a bike and still you can sense and admire the connection it has with it’s owner. It’s truly remarkable if you think about it, almost poetic. I bet these guys wouldn’t trade their bikes for anything.
I’ve met one today . As I was running errands on bike, I saw from a distance a gentleman with reflective trousers on an old Bismarck bicycle* loaded with tools, to maneuver skillfully around traffic. I started following him so I can meet him take a picture of his bike (as I did here). When he saw some scrap in a bin he stopped to evaluate them, I grabbed the chance and asked him to take a picture of his bike. He not only agreed, he also turned his bike around to show his tools. He also agreed to be in the picture as well.
He got this bike in 2004 but although it was cheap the spare parts were very expensive. He has been using it to move around the city and do work on houses, carry scrap or just for the pure joy of it!
P.S.: I asked about the saddle, he said ‘Don’t worry about it, it works fine”!
* Bismarck were the German bikes that flooded post-war Greece for the next 3 decades. They were simple and strong bikes with excellent rolling quality.