Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.

PHB

My photo
Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at www.peterbehrens.org I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Amsterdam bikes: omafiets & opafiets

Walking around Amsterdam oud-west and realized once again that densely populated older city centers are poor places to scout old trucks. It was time to try for a photo essay on that wonderful thing, the Dutch vernacular bicycle. 

Above, the machine in its purest form: the omafiets, ("granny's bike")the classic sit-up-and-beg Netherlands roadster bike. (The men's version, with a diamond frame, is opafiets; this type are also known as stadtsfiets ("city bikes")Clean and simple lines, no gearing needed since the whole country is flat, no fancy gew-gaws since bike theft is common and no one in oud-westwould ever think of carrying their bike up 4 flights of stairs to their flat. Amsterdam bikes are street creatures: battered and bruised and rain-soaked, also reliable, quick, and cheap, and the best way of getting around this city.












We have been living on our bikes since we got here in August and will be sorry to give them up.

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