The bike of Arne Dankers

Name: Arne Dankers (Canada, Delft Center for Systems and Control, PhD candidate)
Price: free
Brand: Batavus
Striking Feature: The various unique methods of repair using coat hangers and epoxy

At home in Canada, Arne Dankers rode his bike every day to university.

This may not be the norm for most Canadians, but cycling is in his blood since both of his parents are Dutch. Dankers is clear to point out that the cycling culture in Canada is not so developed and it is not unusual for drivers to yell at cyclists to get off the road.

When asked what he thinks about cycling in the Netherlands Dankers says, “I love it. I really like the fact that I can fully get by with only a bike here, all year round. It is probably one of the things I will miss most when I move away.” He also states that he likes how kids sit on the front and back of the bikes, and how early kids are expected to start riding their own bikes.

Dankers describes his current bike as ‘a purple man’s bike with foam handle bar covers.’ He got it about two years ago and chose it because it was free and it worked. Since he moved to Delft he has continued using his bike for daily transportation, but hasn’t experienced such hostility from drivers as he did in Canada.

That’s not to say the ride here has been totally smooth. Dankers tells a story about his bike getting stolen. “I was unloading groceries outside my house, and I left it unlocked as I went inside. When I came back, it was gone,” he laments. During the following weeks, Dankers and his wife kept an eye out for any purple bikes around town. Surprisingly, his wife found it locked to a fence at a local school. “So she put one of our locks over top of the bike with a note to the new ‘owner’, that this was our bike, and if they could please leave the key in the bike so that we could have it back,” he explains. While she was there, the custodian of the school came to ask what she was doing. In the end he helped her cut the lock, and gave her the bike back.

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