The bike of Ben Carrion

Name: Ben Carrion (Chile, MSc student in coastal engineering)
Price: 170 Euros
Brand: German
Striking Feature: Big brown box on the front

Brown, slim and resistant.

That is how Ben Carrion described his old bike that ironically carries the brand name “German”, but says made in Holland. “I believe it’s a pretty common bike here,” says the native Chilean who came to the Netherlands just over a year ago with his wife and daughter.

The bike was chosen mainly for its price. “It is a second (or third, or fourth)-hand bike, and when we arrived in Delft, along with a few hundred other people, there was a huge demand for bikes so there were not many options available,” says Carrion. “All other cheaper options had this torpedo braking system, which is kind of scary for me.” He liked that the bike looked very Dutch, kind of old and simple with slim tires. So far it has served him well, except for the one hand brake that doesn’t currently work.

Carrion mainly uses the bike for his daily commute to Deltares, where he is working on his thesis. But he explains that it is a very utilitarian bike since he added the big brown box to the front. He also uses it to carry a baby stroller, groceries or even his dog when it is too tired to run with the bike. “I have gone to IKEA a couple of times and bought more than I had planned,” Carrion says. “To avoid paying for delivery I put everything on top of the bike. Lots of rope, bags and Tetris skills and I’m carefully rolling.”

Cycling in his home country of Chile is not very popular yet, but Carrion hopes that will change. “The car is king and the infrastructure is aimed towards it,” says Carrion of Santiago, the capital city that has around six million residents. But he said now there are problems with overcrowded public transport and traffic, good reasons to develop a better infrastructure for bikes.

Of cycling in the Netherlands, Carrion thinks it is great. “We just had to get used to the weather, and we don’t mind cycling in the rain,” he says. “You just need to gear up and roll!”

Editor Redactie

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