Transformers: bike edition

The Netherlands is well known for its bikes. Everyone there rides bikes and it is not strange to have several in your garage. If you walk through Amsterdam for example, there is no escaping us cyclists. We are everywhere! There are bike lanes and special traffic lights. Dozens of bikes are chained to the fences along the canals and central station has trouble dealing with all the parked up bikes.

Here in Christchurch biking is a bit different. Nobody is used to cyclists on the road and you have to be really careful. I laughed that it is required to wear a helmet, but now I understand. Drivers just don’t expect to see you on your bike and often don’t know how to deal with you. After a long time without a bike I couldn’t resist buying one to ride around Christchurch though. Just like my car, it immediately gave me trouble. My tyre had to be fixed after half an hour of biking!

A few weeks later it didn’t work at all anymore. When I went to the bike shop they had me guess how old my bike was. I don’t know! It’s a classic! 1969, but still going strong now. It does look a bit rusty and that’s why I decided to make it my little project to give it a new color. I’ve always wanted to try it, but never dared. With my already old school, slightly shabby bike, it was the perfect opportunity.


Unfortunately I have no tools, don’t trust myself with putting bikes together and don’t trust that this bike will survive it if I take it apart, so I had to leave it all in one piece. This makes painting a whole lot harder! I started sanding it all, hours passed before I could spraypaint the first bit. Then I had to make sure I covered the areas I didn’t want to paint, which was trickier than it seemed. After color one, I gave it a day to dry.

Then I started with the purple. I thought I’d covered everything properly, but some spray still got onto the white. So I decided to correct my fuck-ups and paint some extras purple. There are still a few things that could have been done better, but I’m pretty pleased. It definitely looks different!

Well, here’s the final result. It isn’t perfect, but it’s mine and I am proud of it! So I’ve learned a few things this weekend. One: if you spraypaint your bike, take the time to learn how to take it apart. Two: in windy conditions you’ll also slighty change the color of your skin and clothes. Three: cover everything properly or you’ll be riding with a partly colored tyre. Four: I could really get into graffiti. Five: wear a mask when you’re sanding or your head fills with rust.

I feel like I’ve got a whole new bike!


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