The bike of Carlos Restrepo

Growing up in Colombia, Carlos Restrepo had a bike, but it was difficult to ride there. There are no bike lanes, there are a lot of hills and a lot of cars and buses that overtake cyclists.

“You literally can feel their wheels on your pedals,” says Restrepo. “Not a nice experience!” His description draws such a sharp contrast with the cycling culture in the Netherlands.

Name: Carlos Restrepo (Colombia, Department of Electrical Sustainable Energy, Postdoc)

Price: €200

Brand: Btwin, ELOPS 3

Striking Feature: Riding position designed to ensure comfort

When Restrepo found out he was moving to Delft, he asked around about what to expect about living in the Netherlands. The overwhelming answer he got was that it is expensive to live here and expensive to buy a bike. He was living in Spain at the time and since he was planning to drive from Spain to Delft with a big moving van, Restrepo decided the most logical and cost-effective thing to do was buy a new bike before leaving.

After a bit of searching Restrepo settled on his current btwin ELOPS 3, for which he paid €200. “I saw it and I liked it. The matte black paint, its form, very comfortable to ride on and for me it had a real good price,” he says. The bike has 5 speeds, a front basket, a dynamo light and special tires that are designed for urban cycling.

Moving day arrived and, naturally, the van was not big enough for all of the things Restrepo, his partner and their 1 year old daughter were bringing. “We were still packing the van and there was no way of getting the bike inside without disassembling it into different pieces, and leaving some of our things in Spain,” stated Restrepo. “But, hey, we were taking a very good and smart purchase with us so we happily and with no regret left things behind.”

After driving 1,700 km, Restrepo and his family arrived in Delft. They unpacked to find the bike had sustained its first scratches during the journey. It then took an hour to reassemble the various pieces back into a working bike. Ironically, while exploring Delft, the first bike he saw for sale was only €199.

Restrepo has now been living in Delft for about two months. He uses his bike every day to ride to the university and the city centre.

Editor Redactie

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